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RICHMOND, UK – March 13, 2010 – Otley RUFC 35 – 34 London Scottish FC

RICHMOND, UK – March 13, 2010 – Otley RUFC 35 – 34 London Scottish FC

London Scottish FC faced a formidable side at an historic rugby ground to come away with only their forth loss of the season, which was accomplished by two late tries from the hosts. Otley threw the form book out of the window against the Exiles at Cross Green when the sides met in a National League 1 game, with the last kick of an exciting and absorbing match won Otley the game by just one point.

London Scottish FC faced a formidable side at an historic rugby ground to come away with only their forth loss of the season, which was accomplished by two late tries from the hosts. Otley threw the form book out of the window against the Exiles at Cross Green when the sides met in a National League 1 game, with the last kick of an exciting and absorbing match won Otley the game by just one point.

The Yorkshire ground has witnessed some famous matches in the past, not least the Fran Cotton-inspired North of England’s 22-19 defeat of the All Blacks in 1979 with Australia also losing to the North nine years later.

MPU

Few could have matched the drama of the game, in which the 69 points scored were split into four distinct periods of play. Scottish raced into a commanding early lead only to be overhauled by Otley before the interval – a sequence repeated during the second half.

There was little hint of the excitement that lay ahead in an opening spell that saw the visitors claim two tries inside the first 12 minutes to take a 17-0 lead. The first of these was from prop Andy Fahey, who found himself in the unaccustomed role of an impromptu winger to run in from ten yards. The second was from flanker Ollie Brown, as the Scottish forwards dominated all the early exchanges.

Full back Frankie Neale converted both of those tries, adding to an earlier penalty kick in a match that seemed destined to play out according to the sides’ respective league positions.

The hosts were 21-17 ahead by the half-hour mark following a ten-minute spell in which they scored three tries, all with successful conversions.

After the interval both the momentum and scoring swung back in London Scottish’s favour. David Howells came on as replacement and caused all sorts of problems for the Otley defence. A second penalty from Neale put Scottish within a point of the hosts, with tries from the centre pairing of Ian McInroy and Rory Damant, both converted by the full back which gave Scottish a 13-point cushion.

Otley refused to give up and the late sin-binning of their flanker Chris Walker renewed their impetus. On 77 minutes their full back finished off a move from the Yorkshire side’s forwards, which was converted pulling the home side back within six points of London Scottish.

As the game entered its dying moments, a flowing move across the back line ended with Otley crossing over in the left-hand corner to claim the last try of the afternoon, which was converted from an awkward angle to claim a single point win of 35-34.

Next week, Scottish face another long-distance away match when they travel to Cornwall to play Launceston. In that game, the side will be missing several key players due to call-ups to the England Counties squad to face France Amateurs in Lille, including Neale who scored a hat-trick against Ireland three weeks ago.

Otley: 35 (Tries: Kirkby (2), Denton (2), Georgiou; Conversions: Murray (5))

London Scottish: 34: (Tries: Fahey, O Brown, McInroy, Damant; Conversions: Neale (4); Penaltoes: Neale (2))

Otley: Georgiou, White, Denton, Gill, Kirkby, Murray, Depledge, Blades, Waqrner, Quigley, Parr, Bennett, Barker, Walker, Stedman (Replacements: Zeiss, Steele, Ball, Watson, Wilson)

London Scottish: Neale, Broughton, Damant, McInroy, Piotrowski, J Brown, Amor, Johnson, Standfield, Fahey, Palmer, Fullarton, O Brown, Lonergan, Lipp (Replacements: Silvester, Howells, Yellowlees, Grant, Graham)

Match report by Simon MacMichael, with thanks to Ian Aitken

Press release by Rob Kerr

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