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DK 32 Otley 34
12:37pm Monday 3rd September 2012 in Dudley Kingswinford RFC
A STUNNING late comeback saw Otley condemn Dudley Kingswinford to defeat in their season opener.
New signings Rhys Pritchard, Jimmy Gore, Joe Carpenter and Matt Humphries all impressed for the hosts and local lad Rich Kelley was man of the match but they were edged out in a thriller.
On eight minutes, Otley were level when their impressive number seven Daniel Temm brushed off two tackles to streak 50 metres for a fine try. Ben Cooper’s conversion levelled the scores at 7-7.
The visitors went ahead on 14 minutes. DK coughed up the ball deep inside the Otley half and centre Jack Mackie broke through and released James Twomey to score an unconverted try from three metres out.
The hosts hit back when a touch kick from Higgins put the visitors on the back foot and a strong burst from Stefan Shillingford fed Simon Fletcher, who managed to score at full stretch.
Higgins converted and to put DK back in front. A Higgins penalty stretched the home lead to 17-12 before DK went further ahead with a well-executed try.
From a lineout, the ball was moved right for Farrington who wrong footed the Otley cover and touched down an unconverted try. But with things going well, DK shot themselves in the foot.
They won a scrum on their own line but lost control at the base and quick thinking from the Otley scrum half saw him pick up and score an opportunistic try to make it 22-17.
Otley missed a penalty early in the second period but DK suffered a blow when Higgins was yellow carded on 48 minutes for pulling back a player without the ball.
They defended superbly until the 54th minute when James Wood levelled proceedings.
Back came DK. Gareth Bown’s penalty hit a post before DK, now back to 15 players, poured forward. Great interplay created a gap that was exploited by DL flanker Joe Carpenter, who bulldozed through to the line.
Jon Higgins converted and soon added a penalty to make it 32-22 and restore the home side’s cushion.
Otley responded, using a rolling maul to good effect, skipper Adam Blades being driven over in the corner after 75 minutes. Scrum-half Depledge crucially added the difficult conversion to bring Otley within three points.
DK threw everything forward but Otley managed to regain the ball in midfield and great hands saw right wing Twomey in space and he cruised in for his second try to steal the points.