Old Brodleians 12
Wheatley Hills 10
Brods produced a performance of immense character against an experienced and powerful Wheatley Hills side in a tight North One East clash played in very difficult conditions.
With the advantage of the slope in the first half Brods were looking to build a first half lead. However, they were starved of possession and the visitors took the game to their hosts with an attacking surge down the left. Brods’s defence was up to the task and the early attack produced no points.
The young home pack picked up the pace and created enough pressure for the visitors to be caught offside. Matt Hoyle, kicking in place of the abscent Oliver Akroyd. took advantage to give the home side a three point lead.
both sides tried to play a close game to minimise errors, and with half time approaching Hills conceded another penalty. Further indiscipline from the visitors No 6 resulted in another 10 metres being conceded and Hoyle took his chance to extend the lead to six points.
Brods now had the momentum and within minutes were back on the attack. A huge drive from the home pack took them over the visitors line and they were unlucky to have the resulting try disallowed.
Hills started the second half in determined mood and their strong running forwards were creating problems for the home defence.
The visitors camped in the Brods 22 and when the ball was moved wide to the left winger Tom Barker showed great pace to beat two defenders and crossed out wide.
The momentum was now with the visitors and they added to their score with a try following a powerful surge from flanker Byron Elliott. The visitors appeared to be in control and it was difficult to see a way back for the home side.
Indiscipline from the visitors resulted in a yellow card for fly half Townsley and with Scrimshaw entering the fray the Brods forwards worked their way back into the game.
It wasn’t pretty but it was effective, the home side made fewer mistakes than their visitors and when the Hills side did get their hands on the ball the Brods defenders led by the mercurial Ben Hoyle worked tirelessly to retrieve the ball.
Scrimshaw’s chip and chase gave the home side a toehold in the Hills 22 where indiscipline again resulted in a penalty and Hoyle stepped up to close the gap to one point.
Brods’ veteran fly half Nick O’Connor was becoming increasingly influential with his distribution and line kicking and as the Woodhead men grew in confidence their pick and drive game took them once more into the Hills half .
A penalty awarded in centrefield and 40 metres out gave Brods the chance to recapture the lead. Matt Hoyle once more stepped forward and his strike was good and the ball dropped onto the crossbar before bouncing over.
The game moved into 12 minutes of injury time with Hills continuing to press. However, they could not work out how to break down a well coached Brods defence who stuck to their game plan and not for the first time this season held out to secure a vital win and four valuable league points against a team above them on the league ladder.