Brods’ shock trophy success

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Old Brodleians sprung a major surprise with a 25-54 victory at Cleckheaton in the annual Christmas match for the Fred Scott Trophy.

Cleckheaton play at a higher level than the Hipperholme men and, with a strong team on paper, were hot fancies to lift the silverware for a sixth successive year.

However, it soon became apparent to the large crowd that the young visiting side, who included plenty of last year’s colts plus Aussie lock Ross Sterling, were in no mood to lie down.

Cleckheaton had abundant possession in the first half but were met by determined defence, sometimes close to the Brods try line.

Brods were adept at stealing the ball and from one turnover the visitors broke from half-way and left winger Jasper Ayrton scored in the corner.

The conversion was missed but a penalty from Greg Roper, who partnered fellow youngster Chester Butler in the centre, gave Brods an 8-0 interval lead.

Things got even better for the visitors when an interception try from fly-half Tom Andrews, the conversion and a penalty gave them an 18-0 lead.

Cleckheaton, who included ex-Brods players Ollie Akroyd, Callum Thompson, Alex Dawson and Danny Vento, still had 30 minutes to retrieve the situation.

They made inroads with a Lee Queeley try double - the second from Mike Piper’s cross-field kick into the in-goal area.

Piper added one conversion to leave the gap at six points and it seemed the home side would come through and win.

However, a superb converted try from Brods hooker Perry Wilson, who bumped off several tacklers, made it 25-12.

Cleckheaton replacement Cammy Burnhill danced through the defence to score and when another Piper kick produced a try for Ross Hayden the gap was down to a single point with the conversion to come.

However, the kick was missed and a last-gasp penalty from 40 metres fell short as Brods hung on for a famous victory.