This was the first local derby for nearly six years. In an entertaining game, full of endeavour from both sides, Harrogate produced arguably their best performance of the season so far. However, Otley came out on top and won the bragging rights – Saturday 29 October 2022
Harrogate started brightly and had early pressure, but could not convert this into points when Dan Troup missed a long-range penalty attempt.
Quick thinking from Callum Irvine against his former club and an excellent 50:22 touch finder put Otley on the attack, but Gate defended strongly and kept their line intact.
Midway through the half, Otley took the lead when Gate conceded a penalty on their 10 metre line. Callum Irvine making it 3 – 0 to Otley
Harrogate almost responded straight away, but the forward drive was stopped by the defence.
Otley stretched their lead in the 35th minute when they ran at Harrogate and Adam Malthouse drove over in the corner for an unconverted try.
Nonetheless, Harrogate responded with the final play of the half. Chris Jackson, on his first start for the team, went over for his debut try, though the conversion was missed. The half-time score was therefore Harrogate 5 Otley 8.
Harrogate took confidence into the second half, scoring immediately after the re-start – Jacob Percival scored in the left hand corner following a forward drive. Unfortunately, the conversion was unsuccessful.
Not to be out done, Otley replied almost immediately. Callum Irvine broke down the right hand side and put Clark Wells in at the corner for another unconverted try.
Both sides continued to run the ball, and Otley stretched their lead just after the hour when Irvine kicked his second penalty. That made the score Harrogate 10 Otley 16.
The final quarter of the game produced further chances, but neither side were able to execute and trouble the scoreboard. Harrogate finishing the game on the attack trying to find the winning score, but strong Otley defence ensured they came away with 4 league points.
Harrogate: Rawlinson, Yates Scrase, Mercer, Magee, Troup, Olley, Elsayed, Percival, Baxter, Dodds, Brady (capt), Jackson, Hill, Spencer-Jones. Subs: Derbyshire, Fenn, Jones, Steene, Swanson.
Otley: C Irvine, B Morgan, Wells, C Morgan, E Morgan, Crossland, Gaffney, Thiart, Cole, Moss, S Irvine, Mitchell, Malthouse (capt), Hodge, Staples. Subs: Gibson, Ward, Carpenter, Rowntree, Stead.
Referee: Ben Davis (RFU)
30 October 2022