A HAT-TRICK of tries by centre Tom Bramwell helped take Tynedale to within five points of top spot in National League Division Two North on Saturday.

With five games left to play, a promotion play-off place is well within their grasp as they have scored more points than any other team, racking up an incredible 880 - almost 50 more than leaders Sale, who they are one of only two sides to have beaten this season.

But this was no walk in the park against Otley, who produced a fine second half rally to get within four points of Tynedale with just five minutes left.

But cliffhangers have been the tale of Tynedale’s season, and they scored their sixth try in the final minute to deny the home side a perhaps deserved losing bonus point.

While delighted with the win, Tynedale were disappointed to lose skipper Matty Outson with an ankle injury after just 20 minutes, the scrum half having already missed a couple of months with a knee injury. He was replaced by David Cook.

There was no Jake Rodgers in the Tynedale line up after his recent good showings, so the versatile Rob Parker donned the number 10 shirt.

Tynedale got off to a perfect start scoring two tries in the opening 10 minutes in perfect conditions at Cross Green.

Full back James Spencer set the ball rolling, wriggling through a tackle just inside the Otley half to storm through and score a try he converted himself with just three minutes gone.

And five minutes later, winger Guy Pike followed up a clever chip to grab Tynedale’s second, Spencer again adding the extras.

But Otley refused to lie down, a penalty to the corner leading to a try by lock Declan Dunn, converted by Joe Rowntree , to take the score to 14-7 with 13 minutes gone.

Back came Tynedale with Bramwell’s first try on 27 minutes, Spencer again converting, and although Rowntree landed a penalty on 32 minutes, Tynedale had the four try bonus point in the bag on 34 minutes, Spencer claiming his second try to take the score to 26-10 at the break.

Otley used their big forwards to good effect in the second period, a period of pressure on the Tynedale line earning a try for flanker Tom McDonnell.

Tynedale reasserted themselves with another Bramwell try after a great burst by Parker, to take the score to 31-15 but it was the Yorkshiremen who were now on top as the forwards took control.

Dunn blasted his way over for his second try on 70 minutes, and with Jonny Cousin in the sin bin, Otley were awarded a penalty try with five minutes left to make it a precarious 31-27 to Tynedale.

But the visitors kept their heads, and in the final minute, the lime green boots of Bramwell carried him over the try line for the third time, Spencer’s conversion setting the seal on a deserved win doe Tynedale.

Tynedale make their third successive trip to Yorkshire on Saturday, travelling to bottom club Sheffield for the rearranged game from March 3.