A HEADY mix of well taken tries and calamitous defending saw Tynedale held to a draw by Yorkshire side Otley at a sun-baked Tynedale Park on Saturday.

After three games, the Corbridge-based side are still looking for their first victory in National League Division Two North.

Despite being the league’s second highest scorers with 96 points, they also have the second leakiest defence, having conceded 106 points.

Tynedale were without a number of regulars, and half a dozen teenagers called into action, with varying degrees of success.

Among the successes was 19-year-old Callum Pascoe, who started on the right wing, but later switched to his favoured position of scrum half, allowing the versatile Matty Outson to display his majestic talents at fly half.

What an asset to the club the skipper is, whether it is his accurate passing, astute kicking or his pulverising tackling.

For the first time this season, the pack were outgunned by the weighty Otley pack for much of the game, although things improved later on, notably when brothers Joe and Charlie Richards - sons of Newcastle Falcons boss Dean - joined the fray.

Tynedale went behind to a penalty from the 10-metre line by Otley fly half Ben Smith with just two minutes gone.

For the next 20 minutes though, the Yorkshiremen were penned in their own 22 by waves of Tynedale attacks, but the Northumbrians lacked penetration as the error count built-up.

And on a rare visit to Tynedale territory, Otley extended their lead from a penalty scrum, when lock Brett Mitchell got the touchdown to a forward drive, Smith converting after 27 minutes.

With half-time looming, Tynedale finally got on the scoresheet from a well-worked forward drive, with lock Graeme Dunn the scorer.

And the last play of the half saw Outson produce a dazzling break before popping the ball up for full back Rob Parker to score am impressive try, converted by 18-year-old fly half Will Haydon Wood, to give Tynedale a 12-10 half time lead.

The advantage was stretched to 17-10 five minutes into the second half when centre Liam Checksfield showed electrifying acceleration to go over for the third try.

Otley came roaring back with a well worked try by left wing Henry Roberts on 54 minutes, with Smith converting, before a wave of Outson’s magic wand sent Pascoe in for Tynedale’s bonus point try, with replacement Jake Rodgers’ conversion giving Tynedale a 24-17 lead.

It lasted just two minutes, before the Tynedale defence opened up like the Red Sea for full back Ben Magee to go in for a converted try to level things up.

More weak tackling allowed Otley to go ahead with Roberts grabbing his second try on the hour, but Parker’s second try for Tynedale restored parity on 66 minutes.

The pendulum swung the visitors’ way when a tiring defence allowed centre Elliott Morgan to dot down on 70 minutes for a 34-29 lead, but after a thunderous forward drive prop Ben Haigh bustled in to make it 34-34 with six minutes left.

Rodgers might have won it for Tynedale from the tee but his conversion attempt drifted narrowly wide at the last minute. Tynedale have a tough task this weekend when they go down to Manchester to take on second placed Sedgley Park.