TOM Leader inspired Sedgley Park to an impressive 44-23 victory over Otley at Park Lane – a win that saw them leapfrog the Yorkshire side into fourth place in National League Two North.
Leader kicked well all game and scored one of six Sedgley tries to help them to a fifth win in eight matches.
In what was a tight first half, Tigers struggled to get going against a youthful Otley playing some impressive stuff – back rows Tom O’Donnell and Dan Temm the leading lights.
While they were not at their fluent best, however, the Tigers pack coped well but they could not get their backs into the game.
With Steve Collins a late arrival, Chris Parrott had moved to fly-half from the start to link up with Paul Urmston in what was a new combination.
It remained tight and it was no surprise when kicking dominated the early scoring.
Leader and opposite number Mike Ireland kicked two penalties apiece to make it 6-6.
As Sedgley began to go through the gears, the breakthrough edged closer and it arrived when a surging Matt Riley run fed Parrott who evaded a couple of tacklers to cross the line and Leader converted. Otley responded well with a succession of attacks down the right side.
Sedgley stood strong but conceded two more penalties which Ireland dispatched.
The lead was stretched again when Andy Riley kicked ahead and chased his own ball before crossing the whitewash with Leader again converting to make it 20-12 to the hosts at the break.
After the restart, Ireland kicked another two penalties but the introduction of Steve Collins had an impact.
The Tigers clicked into gear and former Tyke, Johnny Mathews, charged down a clearance for tight head prop forward George Hymes to run in the third try, Leader converting.
Another fine run by Mathews fed Leader for a bonus point try.
Tigers number eight Matt Lamprey powered over for try number 5, again converted by Leader, before Otley grabbed their first through Chris Gemmell.
In the last play of the game, a big driving Tigers maul bundled over for try number six and a final Leader conversion.
It was a good victory against a competent Otley side and Sedgley could be happy with their display, particularly in the second half.
This weekend, the Tigers make their first visit to Luctonians in Herefordshire for another tough test against a team just two points behind them.