Old Brodleians were on the wrong end of a close scoreline for once, losing 25-24 at Pontefract in Yorkshire One, but they had the consolation of picking up two bonus points.
With other results going their way, they stay in the hunt for a top four finish.
Pontefract are always difficult to beat at Moor Lane and were motivated in their bid to beat the drop.
Brods dominated possession in the early stages with Rob Jennings and Callum Thompson carrying the ball well.
Danny Wood’s penalty drifted wide before Ponty were reduced to 14 men when hooker Smith was yellow carded for leading with his elbow, Kyle Millward leaving the field for attention to his jaw.
Five minutes later the home No 8 was very lucky to receive only a yellow for a head butt.
On 21 minutes Brods’ pressure finally told when Jonjo Ward took a quick tap to feed Jennings on the charge. The talented No 8 sent the supporting Ed Botha over the try line.
Pontefract responded immediately and when Brods lost the ball from a scrum on their own 22, it was moved swiftly to speedy centre Craig Fawcett, whose arcing run beat the Brods defence. Dean converted to give the home side a 7-5.
With their confidence growing, Pontefract started to dominate possession and Fawcett again showed his pace to score wide on the left to make it 12-5 on 32 minutes.
Brods’ Pete Williams received a yellow card in an increasingly fractious game.
After a period of scrappy play, Pontefract lost control of the ball and Kristian Sharples chased Liam Scott’s kick ahead. The ball ran loose for Sam Deacon to pick up and cross the whitewash wide on the right. Wood’s conversion was just wide and Dean kicked a penalty just before half time for an interval score of 15-10.
Ponty extended their lead to 25-10 with a penalty and a converted try on the back of a charged down Brods kick.
Jennings left the field injured but Brods doubled their efforts with Ed Botha excelling in attack and defence.
From a Botha carry, the supporting Loma Kivalu produced one of his characteristic short-range touch downs but the referee was unsighted and disallowed the try.
Brods showed real character in their efforts and Scott fed Deacon, and the powerful Kiwi centre finishing well to give Wood an easy conversion.
With 20 minutes left Brods continued to press and Botha finished well following strong runs from Kivalu and Deacon.
Wood’s conversion reduced the gap to one point but the visitors could no conjure up a winning score.