Otley 17 Coventry 16

Coventry were aggrieved to leave Cross Green with only a bonus point to show for their efforts and knew how Otley had felt after their own onepoint defeat at the Butts Park Arena five months ago.

On that occasion Otley scored the only tries of the game but were beaten by nine Matt Leek penalties. This time, Coventry played all the expansive rugby but couldn't make it pay against a home side that took a distinctly route one approach.

Equally, the vaunted Otley pack found progress difficult against a determined Coventry defence, and they needed a disputed penalty try and one rare piece of opportunism outside the forwards to extend a winning home run which now stands at nine league games.

Coventry certainly felt that they had been short-changed by referee Robin Goodliffe - who, incidentally, the programme told us played over 300 games for Sheffield and represented Yorkshire - when he awarded Otley their penalty try in first half injury-time for handling at a ruck and then, late in the game, gave Cov no more than a scrum when the hosts committed a similar offence within the kicking range of Richard Davies.

"The referee had spoken to us about coming in off the fringes," said Coventry captain Adrian Olver, "but without warning he just seemed to take exception to a hand going over and playing the ball, said it was the second time, and gave the penalty try.

"We felt we should have been given a penalty when Otley did the same - Richard had been kicking them from there, and there wasn't too long left to play.

"It's a very disappointing result, but I'm very proud of the boys and how they played. They gave it all and didn't leave anything in the dressing room.

"Another day it would have gone our way, but that's life and it doesn't take away from what we have achieved this season."

Coventry led through a 30-metre Davies penalty but Simon Binns popped over his own penalty to level. But a minute later Cov regained the lead when outstanding No 8 Hendry Rheeders battered his way through three defenders on the right touchline to go in from the 22 for a superb try which Davies converted.

The penalty try and Binns conversion sent Otley into the break on level terms again, and after Davies had restored the advantage to Coventry with his second penalty, home winger Chris Hall kicked ahead to score between the posts, leaving Binns an easy conversion.

A third Davies penalty cut the deficit but Coventry were left distinctly frustrated.

OTLEY: Shuttleworth (Stockdale, 76); Hall, Rock (Taylor, 53), Mooney, Sovatabua (Dench, 72); Binns, Scully (Brown, 53); Wring (Fear, 69), Sayers (Luffman, 53), Fullman, Oakes, Connor, Tiffany (Thorpe, 53), Bland, Wilson.

COVENTRY: Davies; Richards, Witkowski, Sanders, Johnson; Higgins, Perry; Pulu, Protherough (Gluth, 61, Protherough, 80), Olver, Percival, Gulliver (Clapham, 61), Gravell, Campton (Buckingham, 76), Rheeders.

Referee: R Goodliffe (RFU).