A fine kicking display from Danny Wood - both off the tee and from hand - spurred Old Brodleians to a fourth successive Yorkshire One win by 17-13 at home to Ilkley today.
The stand-off hit the target with all four of his first half penalties to open up a 12-8 interval lead.
His teammates backed him up with another performance strong on character, if not style, to withstand Ilkley’s anticipated fightback down the slope.
The Woodhead side’s fifth win in seven games moved them above Ilkley and North Ribblesdale to fifth in the table.
Ilkley had lost only once in six games prior to the Woodhead contest. Just adequate in the set piece, their backs did appear to offer more of a threat than some of the sides Brods have come up against so far.
However, sheer hard work and team spirit saw Brods through against opponents who fashioned breaks but were let down by inaccurate passing.
A rather fussy display from referee David Linsey, who cracked down on feeding the scrum and any lineout throw the slightest fraction away from straight, was apparent from the start.
Brods didn’t apply any pressure on the Ilkley try line in the first half but didn’t need to. The visitors were penalised as soon as Brods got within striking distance and Wood slotted decent penalties after three and 10 minutes before landing an easier goal on 18 minutes.
Ilkley came back strongly in the second quarter and were rather gifted a try on 22 minutes when a diagonal kick from rangy stand off Josh Kimber eluded young fullback Dominic Georgiou and winger John-Henry Johnson strolled over 15 metres to the right of the posts for a try he was unable to convert.
Wood’s great touchfinder made 50 metres and neutralised the next threat but Ilkley were soon knocking on the door again and the gap was down to a single point on 33 minutes when Johnson kicked an easy penalty.
Brods were making errors and Ilkley, with plenty of pace out wide, butchered an opportunity for a second try and the lead before Wood had the hosts breathing a little more easily with a fine 40 metre penalty to end the half.
Ilkley pressed hard at the start of the second period but their lineout was starting to stutter and Brods cleared the danger and posed their first threat with the ball in hand.
Skipper Kyle Millward’s knock on brought only temporary relief for Ilkley and Brods stretched their lead to 17-8 after 50 minutes from a ruck wide on their left.
Improving young Aussie lock James Waddington made ground and in-form scrum half Joe Armitage made the final 10 metres, Wood’s only failure with the boot coming from wide out.
Ilkley pressed again but were met by firm resistance and Tongan prop Tipiloma Kivalu charged away with the ball.
Brods appeared in control and the visitors looked to be running out of ideas but a try with five minutes left set up a tense finale and ultimately earned the visitors a losing bonus point.
Number 8 Stu Brewer powered his way to the line but Johnson was unable to convert.
With two minutes left Brods’ young winger Kris Sharples suffered a leg injury near the touchline in front of the newly-completed stand, which led to a six minute delay.
Play restarted with a scrum to Ilkley and Kimber set home hearts fluttering by ghosting through in midfield. However, the ball was lost again and Brods, aided by a final scrum free-kick, ran down the clock in midfield.