Old Brodleians 17 York 18
BRODS’ hopes of leapfrogging a York side just above them in the Yorkshire One table were dashed by a penalty two minutes from time.
Visiting stand off Ben Johnson had looked uncomfortable in the goalkicking role but he made no mistake from straight in front of the posts just outside the 22.
It capped a recovery from 14-0 down for the visitors as Brods’ afternoon took a turn for the worse, like the weather, which changed from bright sunshine to rain.
Home coach John Cole thought his side had done enough to avoid a second home defeat in eight days, following the loss to Heath, but York no doubt felt that they were deserved winners after dominating field position through their big pack.
The start was delayed by 15 minutes after the York coach got stuck in traffic on the M62 and Brods eventually took to the field without open side flanker Andy Finn, who has returned to the professional rugby league ranks with Featherstone.
York set out determinedly up the slope, driving and recycling through the forwards, but they were met by determined and enthusiastic home defence in which Danny Vento and Kyle Millward were to the fore.
Virtually all the play was in the top half of the field but Brods scored twice through their young wingers in long-range raids in the opening 23 minutes.
Converted forward Rob Jennings, now plying his trade in the centre and Brods’ top line-breaker, paved the way for left winger Mike Briggs to race in on seven minutes.
Stand off Danny Wood converted and also added the two points after he had carved open the York defence for Eddie Carter to go behind the posts.
York were also dangerous in broken play through their Fijian winger Billy Cakaunitabua and he eventually set up fullback Joe Kirker to make it 14-5 with an unconverted try on 34 minutes.
The visitors were starting to make handling errors while Brods, who managed to apply some pressure late in the half, were let down by their lineout, in which Finn had played a key part.
Brods’ efforts to retain their lead against the slope were hit by an “own goal” in the early stages of the second half. Wood’s pass failed to find Jennings on the burst just outside the home 22 and York were quick to snap up the loose ball and cash in, replacement forward Joe Maud scoring from close range on 46 minutes.
Brods’ lead was stretched from four to seven points on 64 minutes when Cakaunitabua tried to run the ball out of defence, a Brods tackler was obstructed and Wood struck a 30 metre angled penalty.
York registered their third try four minutes later when Wood was unable to make much ground with a kick to touch from Vento’s turnover and the York forwards made the most of their lineout possession, Maud getting the ball down again for another unconverted try.
Wood’s restart was allowed to bounce into touch and Brods won a scrum penalty but Wood’s fairly difficult effort, which would have given his side a five point lead, went to the left of the posts.
Instead, York swept downfield and when an anxious Brods player prevented the visitors from getting the ball away from a ruck, Johnson held his nerve to land the killer penalty.