WHARFEDALE are facing a new year battle for National League Two North survival after their 20-13 defeat at Otley last Saturday.

Following a 20-year stay in National League One, there is a very real possibility that the Greens will be relegated for the second time in three years.

They have only gathered 14 points from 15 matches and are 12 points from safety at the halfway point of the season.

Wharfedale trailed 15-6 at half-time at Cross Green, Tom Barrett having kicked two penalties, but although their second half was better, with their most prominent forward Adam Howard scoring a try that Barrett converted to gain a losing bonus point, Otley still completed a league double.

Wharfedale’s next two home matches against Luctonians (January 6) and Sheffield (January 20) could well be crucial to their survival hopes as they bid to avoid meeting teams such as Harrogate, Ilkley and Sandal in the North Premier division.