Old Brodleians opened 2017 with a hard earned and well deserved 31-24 victory over Acklam on Teesside.
With York losing at Hullensians, the Hipperholme boys’ bonus point win moved them up a place to third in Yorkshire One They are level with York on 42 points but with a game in hand.
Acklam opened the game strongly and took advantage of a penalty for offside on seven minutes, converted by captain Danny Ashton.
Unforced errors by the visitors continued and from a scrum against the head, Acklam moved the ball left and with some good handling and winger Dean Roberts finished in the corner.
The conversion was missed but the home side were worth their 8-0 lead on 13 minutes.
Brods settled and started to control possession in Acklam’s territory. Strong running by Pete Williams and Oliver Akroyd was getting Brods on the front foot
A Rob Jennings break in centre field was supported by Matt Raven and the prop broke clear on the home 22. With the full-back to beat and covering defenders in disarray, Raven stepped the last line of defence and touched down between the posts. Tom Breakwell converted and Brods were back in the game after 25 minutes.
From the restart, the ball was kicked directly into touch and Brods were awarded a scrum on half way.
Jennings picked up from the scrum and broke blind to make ground to the 22. He was supported by Michael Briggs and the in form winger finished in style on the right.
Breakwell again converted and it remained 14-8 to the visitors up to half time.
The home side started the second half well and two penalties from Ashton levelled the scores on 50 minutes.
Brods were awarded a penalty on half way and made the most of a well placed kick to the corner.
Acklam had no answer to the Hipperholme men’s drive with Kiwi hooker Jared Bailey emerging as the scorer. Breakwell converted from the touchline and Brods regained the lead 21-14.
Laurie Hamer received a yellow card for a high tackle with 18 minutes remaining and the pressure was back on the visitors.
Acklam camped in Brods’ territory and drew level again with a converted try under the posts following good interplay in the forwards.
Both sides were striving for a winning score and with the clock ticking down Akroyd broke in midfield and the supporting Phil Town looked as though he must score. However, the cover defence saved a try.
Brods’ offensive continued and when the ball came back infield veteran prop Jamie McLaughlin nearly made it to the line.
Briggs then attacked down the right and his pass found the supporting Breakwell, who dummied and scored an excellent team try.
Breakwell converted from wide on the right and an extra three points from a penalty left Brods looking as though they had clinched victory with three minutes plus injury time remaining.
However, the home side were not finished and a penalty made it 24-31.
From the restart the hosts attacked down their left and Ricky Scott was left with one man to beat and players in support.
However, Brods’ full-back Chris Vine had different ideas and his all-embracing tackle stopped the centre from releasing the ball.
Vine’s superb effort forced play back a full 10 metres and Brods regrouped to close out the game.