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Johnson’s late try edges Hull to victory over a spirited Otley side

Hull coach Gary Pearce was delighted with his side’s victory and after the game he said: ”This win puts us in a very good position to press on and consolidate our status as a National Two North side.
“Otley are a good side and it says a lot about this league that they are now in a relegation fight that we have had to consider ourselves but we are now looking at a mid-table or top-half finish.”
Hull knew it would be a tough game and it took Otley just 11 minutes to get their noses in front. Their centre Gavin Stead converted two penalties from long range to put his side 6-0 ahead after just 11 minutes.
Hull’s response was not long in coming and a break from well inside their own half saw winger Mike Adlard released to race clear and touch down under the posts leaving his off-half Simon Humberstone with an easy conversion after just 13 minutes.
Both sets of forwards then battled hard to gain the upper hand, but defences held firm and the scores remained unchanged until half-time seeing Hull lead by a solitary point at the break.
Hull had the better of the conditions as the second half began and it was Humberstone who eased Hull further ahead with a penalty after 57 minutes. However, Hull were rocked when Otley’s substitute forward Joe Graham capitalised on some good work by his pack when he scored a try. His off-half Ben Smith converted to see his team take the lead once again, 13-10 after 54 minutes.
Hull levelled the scores in the 67th minute to ease the pressure with another Humberstone penalty.
But with just 13 minutes left the home supporters were wondering if Hull could produce another late surge as they have done many times this season.
It took another nine minutes for Hull to effectively put the game out of reach. They engineered a line-out in the Otley ’22’ and when centre Steve Johnson joined the ensuing maul, the pack surged towards the line with Johnson having received the ball he rolled off the maul to plunge over the line. Humberstone’s conversion saw Hull ahead 20-10.
A late Ben Smith penalty saw Otley achieve a deserved bonus point at the end of a very close game in which Hull had a slight edge running out deserved winners.

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