Brods move close to safety

Safety is in sight for Old Brodleians who made it three wins on the bounce in Yorkshire One with a 28-10 home success over Pontefract at Woodhead on Saturday.

A 15-point burst in seven minutes at the end of the first half put John Cole’s men on the road to a victory which gave them a double over their West Yorkshire rivals and helped them climb two places to fifth from bottom.

Barnsley and Knottingley, who occupy the relegation berths, both lost heavily and Brods are now 15 and 12 points clear of them respectively.

As against Scarborough on the same ground a week earlier, Brods took a long time to get going but eventually their fitness and sheer will to win got them through.

Brods again failed to make good use of the slope in the opening half hour, although sleet and a soggy pitch hardly helped matters.

Their stand off Danny Wood miscued with an ambitious penalty attempt on five minutes and play was centred between the 22s with Gloucester Society referee Peter Brunt spotting numerous infringements.

Callum Thompson’s run in with the official, after the home prop had been penalised, cost Brods an extra 20 metres and three points from the boot of Pontefract fullback Andy Dean on 22 minutes.

Home centre Rob Jennings made the first break of the match, busting a couple of tackles in midfield, but Brods’ rush of points at the end of the first period still came out of blue.

Wood kicked a penalty from half-way into touch in the corner, Ben Acklam and Kyle Millward combined to secure lineout possession, and the Brods forwards mounted an impressive drive to the line. Thompson, just back on the field after being yellow carded for his earlier misdemeanour, came up smiling from the pile of bodies and Wood added a fine goal to make it 7-3.

Brods added a second try five minutes later with some clever play close to the left touchline, winger Danny Chappell setting up the powerful Jennings to drive past two tacklers.

Wood was unable to convert from a similar position to his successful earier effort but the young number 10 gave Brods a barely believable 15-3 interval lead with a low, straight penalty from 30 metres in the last action of the half.

Pontefract had looked strong in the scrum and immediately pressed home that advantage pushing down the slope at the start of the second period.

A sequence of scrums close to the home line eventually resulted in a penalty try on 49 minutes, converted by Dean, to narrow the gap to five points.

Brods looked in trouble but, remarkably, Pontefract never got within 40 metres of the home try line again as Cole’s men dug deep.

Wood’s straight 35 metre penalty hit a post on 56 minutes but the visitors knocked on the rebound and were unable to escape, the young marksman making it 18-10 with an easier shot at goal on the hour.

The home forwards were building up a head of steam and a great driving maul resulted in a yellow card for Pontefract lock Matty Williams.

Brods made a mess of the lineout and a great position was lost but lock Lee Scrimshaw’s determined run down the middle earned a penalty and Wood put more daylight between the teams at 21-10 on 72 minutes.

Young fullback Phil Town’s great catch and kick return helped Brods return to the attack and replacement prop Jamie McLaughlin burst out of a maul in the top left hand corner to scramble over the try line, Wood’s kick from wide out bisecting the posts.

There was still time for the confident Brods to attempt to snatch a four-try bonus point but Wood’s towering punt from a penalty was a shade too strong and the ball went dead.