Otley RUFC are one of the most distinguished clubs in England. Since league rugby began in the late 1980s they have been placed in the National Leagues and many notable players have passed through their ranks, including Nigel Melville and more recently, Danny Care and the now rugby league player Jimmy Keinhorst.
Following ‘The Great Schism’ of 1895 when many rugby union clubs broke away from the RFU to form the Northern Union, Otley stayed true to the Union but in 1900 Otley joined the Northern Union for just six years, after which they disbanded and rejoined the RFU in 1907. They played their first fixtures at Wharfedale. Having previously won the Yorkshire Cup in 1889 they won it again in 1910 and 1911 but when Rugby was suspended at Otley during World War One they began playing again in 1919. On September 28th 1921 the club moved into their present ground at Cross Green, Otley.
Since then Otley have won the Yorkshire Cup on a further six occasions, twice defeating one of our club predecessors, Hull and East Riding RUFC (of blessed memory) in 1910 and 1911. On the down side, in between 1925 and 1929 they lost five consecutive finals, the first to Bradford and the remainder to Halifax.
After being relegated from National Division One in season 2006-07 Otley won the National Division Two championship the following season but were then immediately relegated again. In 2010-11 they were relegated into National Two North where they have remained to the present day. This is when the paths of Otley RUFC and Hull RUFC first crossed and since then the two clubs have met on eight occasions with Hull winning five and Otley winning three. All these games were played at National Two North level and the results are as follows:
2011-12 Otley 20 – Hull 15 Hull 27 – Otley 5
2012-13 Hull 32 – Otley 30 Otley 21 – Hull 26.
2013-14 Hull 12 – Otley 3 Otley 45 – Hull 0
2014-15 Otley 30 – Hull 0 Hull 30 – Otley 18
At this stage of the season Otley are eighth in the table having won four, drawn two and lost three of their games and are on 23 points. Last Saturday Otley posted a 19-12 home win over Loughborough Students with both sides scoring two tries.
It is a pleasure to be competing against Otley once again.