Old Brodleians were unable to throw a spanner into York’s title works at Woodhead yesterday, losing 38-22 to opponents who can clinch the Yorkshire One silverware at home to Heath next Saturday.
It was a sixth defeat in the last seven games for Brods, who have slipped to mid-table obscurity after a bright start to the season, but coach Matt Smith was happy with the display.
Brods had long spells in possession and their reward for keeping going right to the end was a four-try bonus point courtesy of Dan Cole’s second of the game in the closing seconds.
“Our ball retention was the best it has been for some time but we made too many errors and we concede too many easy points,” said Smith.
Some of the tackling from a back line hit by the withdrawals of Phil Town and Matty Hoyle was flimsy to say the least against a clinical York side.
The visitors moved into a 26-10 lead against the slope and while Brods could dispute the validity of three of the first four tries, York always had matters under control.
Scrum half Toby Atkin strolled in for the first try after five minutes and the pass from which skipper Sam Forbes bagged the second on 24 minutes also appeared well forward.
Full back Jon Dawes added the first conversion but hammered his second attempt against an upright, leaving the score at 12-5 to York, prop Bennie Pritchett having replied for the hosts on 12 minutes following Rob Jennings’ good run down the left.
Brods’ scrum was solid and with Cole kicking well for position, the home side added a second unconverted try on 31 minutes. The impressive Michael Briggs, prop Peter Ashton and Chris Vine, who reverted seamlessly to scrum half, all went close before winger Anton Gaughan scrambled over in the corner.
York had stand off Liam Hessay yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-down in the lead up to the try but playing with 14 men proved no inconvenience.
They took advantage of successive missed tackles from centre Matt Carbutt to score converted tries from winger Gaz Singleton and Atkin in the last four minutes of the first half. Atkin’s second came after Pritchett had been pushed attempting to retrieve the ball from a stay Brods pass near the visitors’ 22 line.
York moved out of sight at 31-10 on 47 minutes when Zak Thompson and Jasper Ayrton got in each other’s way attempting to tackle Singleton, who notched his second of the afternoon.
Brods attempted to hit back, with Briggs punching above his weight at centre, and Cole eventually went in 10 metres to the right of the posts on 68 minutes and Thompson added his only conversion.
Replacement forward Shane Goulding scored York’s sixth try with three minutes left, and Dawes added his fourth conversion, before Cole dummied his way over from a tapped penalty to ensure Brods didn’t finish empty handed.