Hull Ionians get back on winning trail with victory over Otley
COACH Gary Pearce admitted Hull Ionians were not at their best despite their hard-fought 31-22 victory over Otley.
Ionians' determination to defend fortress Brantingham Park paid dividends in the final quarter.
Otley scored four tries but their lack of a kicker saw five goals missed, all within normal kicking range, which would have made for a much closer game, as their skill deserved.
Pearce said: "We weren't at our best and at 16-0 up after 30 minutes thought we were rolling along too easily and got a rude awakening.
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"However, the team spirit ensured we came back against a strong Otley team that pushed us to the limit and we had a very lively last 10 to secure the bonus point win."
Prop forward Dave Laverick was man of the match with Danny Hague earning forward of the match and James Ferguson, celebrating 100 1st XV games, earning back of the match.
Ionians' first attack in the second minute earned a penalty by Ferguson.
Conceding a penalty from the restart led to 10 minutes of Otley pressure which a magnificent defence held out.
Having broken free, Ionians attacked in waves and turned pressure into points with a second Ferguson strike.
Straight from the restart Ionians made ground, a penalty brought an attacking line-out. After the forwards were held a break by Richard Fletcher created space for Mike Bateman to score, Ferguson again converted.
Ionians attacked again and with the defence scattered a simple reverse pass was dropped and the chance was lost.
Otley tried to power out of their own 22 but once again failed to release and Ferguson struck again to lead 16-0.
Otley decided it was time to fight back and dominated the last 10 before the break, forcing penalties that gave them close range lines-out from which John Matthews was driven over and Adam Blades peeled off to score.
Otley conceded two yellow cards after the break and Ionians took the penalty as a five-metre scrum and the pack drove over for Danny Hague to touch down.
Otley replied immediately with good support play seeing Dan Temm run under the posts, Twomey now converting.
Ionians came back and running from a scrum on the 22 a chip from Ferguson bounced nicely off the fullback's foot for Sam Wilson to gather and score.
Otley again upped their game and after five minutes on the line, after Ionians received a yellow card, Ben Steele finally scored.
Despite being a man down, Ionians now showed their fitness and a superb kick to the corner by Chris Reakes saw Wilson follow up to secure an attacking line-out where Joe Makin's catch and drive set up Hague to secure victory with a bonus point try.