Old Brodleians dug deep to win 13-3 at York on Saturday and climb from eighth to fifth place in Yorkshire One.
The Hipperholme club’s resources were stretched to the limit with 11 players missing for the two games against the Clifton Road outfit but the seconds also won comfortably at home in the Championship.
Brods’ starting line up in York was further affected when Matt Raven went over on his ankle during the warm up.
Brods had the advantage of a strong wind in the first half and played controlled rugby up the slope.
The scrum looked solid against a big pack but York’s line speed in defence was good and Brods’ sustained pressure came to nothing.
Jack Andrews, outstanding in the back row with Bob Sykes, had to go off injured but York, home winners against Hullensians in their previous outing, were reduced to 14 men on 25 minutes when scrum half Johnson was sent off for stamping.
When it looked as though the first half would finish scoreless, York took advantage of a Brods error and Dawes kicked a penalty after 36 minutes.
Brods struck back immediately with a restart deep into York territory and from a lineout Brods drove to the line and Luke Scrimshaw, Andrews’ replacement, dived in at the corner for a 3-5 interval scoreline.
Raven came on in place of Reece Ward, who had enjoyed an excellent first half and is a young prop with lots of potential.
The work rate of the Brods pack was notable with Callum Thompson, James Ogden and Lee Scrimshaw all contributing to forward domination against a spirited York side.
With Sykes dominating the line out, the Woodhead men continued to enjoy a lion’s share of possession and territory. However, the home side continued to defend well.
York had a spell of pressure on the Brods line around the hour mark but captain Liam Scott rallied his troops to withstand the onslaught.
York missed two penalty chances, one of which hit a post, and Brods broke out of defence with a sparkling run from Ben Barron.
The visitors took the game by the scruff of the neck and a Matty Hoyle penalty made it 3-8.
Brods surged forward again from the restart and the ball was moved swiftly to the right where Anton Gaughan showed real pace and finishing ability to complete the scoring wide on the right .
The target of a top six position by Christmas, with home games against West Park Leeds and Bridlington on the next two Saturdays, looks within their grasp.