SHEFFIELD Tigers run of nine straight wins was brought to a shuddering halt by Yorkshire rivals Otley.
Tigers secured a losing bonus point after losing 29-23 at Cross Green but were dealt a series of injury blows with Jamie Broadley and Steve Walker among those forced to retire early.
Frank Wragg, Walker’s replacement, produced a scintillating display and created a well-worked try for team mate Peter Swatkins but could not prevent Tigers slipping to a rare National North Two defeat.
Swatkins had earlier moved to centre to accommodate debutant Charlie Dunn who acquitted himself well on the left wing while Tigers’ Biff Pearson added his name to the visitors’ growing casualty list by failing to reappear for the second-half having succumbed to a shoulder problem.
Otley had dominated the opening exchanges with Dann Temm scoring a converted try but Tigers pegged the hosts back to lead 13-7 at the interval courtesy of two Tom Outram penalties and Swatkins’ crossover.
Pearson, who had earlier produced an excellent covering tackle to prevent Otley from bundling over, made way for David Price as Tigers looked to build on that advantage.
However, with a combination of fitness problems and the hosts’ accurate kicking disrupting their rhythm, James Twomey reduced the deficit while Stephen Depledge converted before further scores saw Tom Rock’s men seize control despite Charlie Cone’s powerful performance on the front row.
However when Gregor Hayter powered over from the base of the scrum during the closing stages and Outram holding his nerve to convert again, Tigers ensured their efforts did not go entirely unrewarded.
Meanwhile, Sheffield head to Pocklington in North One East this weekend.
Their second XV, who travel to Harrogate Georgians, triumphed 38-7 at Driffield on Saturday.