Harrogate hosted derby rivals Otley for the final time at Claro Road - ahead of January’s move to Rudding Lane.
Match report by Bill Barrack, Club Secretary.
‘Gate went into a 13-0 lead after 17 minutes but Otley came back strongly and had the better of the second half.
In the last move of the match, Willem Enslin drove over from a driving maul to score and give Harrogate, who sit seventh in National Two North, a win by the smallest possible margin.
Two successive early Harrogate turnovers led to Kerry Wood breaking strongly and, when Otley went offside, Joe Rowntree’s penalty put Harrogate ahead.
Andy Boyde, who had an immense game, then powered through the midfield.
Support was on hand and the ball was spun to man of the match Lewis Minikin who outstripped the defence to score.
Rowntree’s conversion made it 10-0 and he soon added three more points after another searing Boyde break forced the defence offside.
Second Row, Sam Cook inspired the Otley pack to raise their game and their backs carried on his powerful burst to put Harry Hudson over in the corner for a converted try.
Just before the interval, a Boyde drive created another attack and Minikin’s second try made it 18-10 in the final move of the half.
‘Gate started the second half by making a mess of Otley’s restart kick and Jack Scott-Paul took full advantage to score.
The conversion attempt was missed and this turned out to be crucial.
An Otley high tackle was then penalised and Rowntree’s 45 metre penalty extended the home lead.
Otley’s Hudson was put away on the right for his second converted try to put them ahead for the first time.
An even period of play followed but Harrogate went offside to give Depledge 3 more penalty points and extend Otley’s lead.
A final Harrogate attack was ended by a high tackle and they went for an attacking line-out from the subsequent penalty. Enslin drove over to score and give Harrogate - unbeaten in four league matches - a one point victory.
Team manager Graham Siswick: It was a ding-dong derby!
We had a fantastic crowd of 700 cheering us on, which makes all the difference.
It was a tight game, and a tight result, possibly too close for comfort but in the end the result was right for us.
We started very well but lost our way a bit.
This weekend, we are away to Broadstreet - they are second bottom but I’m expecting a good match, they are a very competitive side.
It’s another one where we will have to throw everything we have at it.
We are seventh in the league and and we believe there is better to come.
We have long-term injuries, but no new injuries from Otley, so everyone should be fit for the match this Saturday at Broadstreet (3pm).
Frost, Bottomley, L Minikin, Morland, Rowntree, Irvine, Matthews, Boyde, Yorke, Reaveley, Brady, Harvey, Wilson, Wood, T Heaton. Subs (all used) Metcalfe, Enslin, Smith, Edwards, Aspinall
Taylor, Hudson, Mackie, Coady, Sharples, White, Depledge, Moss, Chivers, Blades, Cook, Dunn, O’Donnell, M Heaton, Sutton. Subs (all used) Burkinshaw, Scott-Paul, Stannard, Wales, Ellison
Claire Daniels (RFU).