BIG MATCH PREVIEW -

 

by Joe Heaton


MOSELEY v  Otley - Saturday, September 27th at Billesley Common , k. o. 3pm (but come for lunch!)
 


Steeped in history, Otley in West Yorkshire is situated in the beautiful and undisturbed countryside of Lower Wharfedale, yet is only ten miles from the city of Leeds. Out of a population of 24,000 in the administrative area of Otley & Wharfedale, some 14.000 people live in the Old Town. With Leeds so close, this is not many people to sustain a successful National League One club, yet gates of around 1,000 are not uncommon.

In recent years Otley has yo-yoed between Leagues Two and One. In 2006-07, after seven seasons in the higher flight, the club was relegated after the last match of the season, only to bounce back immediately after winning League Two in March this year. So far, however, the Yorkshire men have again found the going tough against the better financed and more experienced teams in the Division.

In spite of relegation, Otley retained longstanding Coach, Peter Clegg; he in turn kept faith with the core of his squad and now has some very loyal players. It will have to be seen, whether they are good enough to stop up this time. It is not, however, Moseley’s function to assist in this endeavour!

After four matches so far this season, Moseley’s two wins are reflected in an eighth place in the League compared with Otley’s fourteenth achieved with two hard earned bonus points from a tough start. A strong performance against full time side Cornish Pirates last Saturday when the Yorkshiremen almost pulled off an unexpected victory will have given them encouragement.

Moseley fluctuating fortunes in the last two matches may now have raised some questions about the outcome of this fixture which earlier may have been seen as an opportunity for the home side to gather some points. This ultra competitive division is far from straightforward so the match now has some interesting possibilities and will certainly be competitive.

Points and positions apart, Moseley will be welcoming to Billesley Common a very convivial group of people, representing, a genuine rugby club, from one of the loveliest parts of England, and which has not sold its soul to mammon. For that alone they are to be commended.
 

 

From the Coventry Evening Telegraph Pre season Preview

OTLEY Head coach: Peter Clegg

Back in National One after one season, Otley will as ever be a tough nut to crack on their own ground. Their squad has been relatively unchanged for three seasons, and although they weren't good enough to stay up the last time they were in the division, that might be enough advantage to give them a better chance this time.

In: Tom Whittaker (full-back, Leeds), Tom Rhodes (fly-half, Bradford & Bingley), James Parkes (hooker, Leeds), Will Kay (hooker, Halifax), Michael McComish (back row, Rotherham), Rob Baldwin (No.8, Wharfedale).

Out: Guy Easterby (scrum-half, retired), Paul Turner (prop, Halifax), Duncan Sayers (hooker, Ilkeston), James Tiffany (flanker, Wharfedale).

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