Relief as Brods hang on

Old Brods v Keighley'Kiwi Sam Deacon
Old Brods v Keighley'Kiwi Sam Deacon

Stop-start Old Brodleians were grateful for hooker James Brown’s stolen try with five minutes left as they registered a 30-20 home win over Keighley.

The Woodhead men, who were making it three wins out of five in Yorkshire One this season, looked to have the maximum five points in the bag when powerful Kiwi Sam Deacon crossed for their fourth try to make it 25-6 after 51 minutes.

However, they immediately took off key forwards Tipiloma Kivalu and Luke Scrimshaw and surrendered the advantage to a Keighley side with just one losing bonus point to their name so far.

The visitors scored two converted tries in the space of nine minutes down the slope to cut the deficit to five points and home coach John Cole was forced to send his prop and No 8 back on.

The momentum was still very much with the visitors but Brown poached the ball as Keighley tried to break from their 22 metre line and touched down to bring huge relief to the home side.

Brods, who had picked up a fine first away of the season at Wath Upon Dearne the previous Saturday, took to a perfect pitch without points machine Dan Wood (shoulder injury) and prop Callum Thompson (at a wedding).

The home side failed to make the most of good lineout ball early on, coughing up possession in the tackle, but they got their act together sufficiently well to score unconverted tries after 11 and 20 minutes.

The first came after Scrimshaw had carried the ball to just in front of the posts. His opposite number Stuart Inman was yellow carded for illegally stopping the home side’s progress and Brods opted for a scrum instead of any easy three points.

It paid off when scrum half Joe Armitage, industrious and brave throughout, forced his way over the try line.

A fine move involving Liam Scott, Armitage and centre Deacon put Brods back in the danger zone and Dave Spivey sent Matt Hoyle striding over wide on the left.

Brods went off the boil for the next 20 minutes and Keighley, although clearly limited in attack, dominated possession and grew in confidence.

Centre Ben Blackwell punished the home side for sloppy play with penalties on 28 and 36 minutes, Brods’ replacement kicker Hoyle having slotted a three-pointer of his own in between.

Leading 13-6 at the interval, Brods stretched away with tries from winger Kris Sharples, converted by Hoyle, and Deacon.

Sharples sped in after Tongan Kivalu had shown his strength in winning possession and Deacon, sporting a large bandage to protect a gashed chin, bumped off two tacklers on his way to the whitewash.

Home coach John Cole rung the changes, sending on Aussie James Wellington and George Ashton, but Keighley were far from finished.

Replacement Tom Lowther cashed in from a scrum free kick and Blackwell converted to make it 25-13.

Alarms bells were starting to ring and home skipper Kyle Millward was sin binned as the Brods scrum and try line came under pressure.

Keighley created a big overlap but knocked on with the line at their mercy. However, stand off Scott dropped Armitage’s pass from the subsequent scrum and Lowther dropped on the ball for the softest of tries. Blackwell’s kick cut the deficit to five points on 64 minutes.

With eight interchanges now allowed, Cole was able to reintroduce Kivalu and Scrimshaw. They helped to steady the ship, although it was still against the run of play when ex-Bradford and Bingley player Brown burgled the ball as Keighley tried to use the short side following a scrum and ran unchallenged to the line.

Brods, now leading by 10 points, still had to endure a torrid last five minutes. Lock Matt Willis was yellow carded and Keighley, looking capable of scoring another try, opted instead for what looked a fairly easy penalty to earn them a losing bonus point.

However, Blackwell missed it and Keighley went unrewarded when they were held up over the Brods try line in possession in the final play of the game.