Old Brodleians belatedly got off the mark for 2016 with a hard-fought 26-17 Yorkshire One victory away to Bradford Salem, who had two men sent off late on.
A solid second half performance, in which they closed out their hosts with a dominant forward display led by veteran Luke Scrimshaw, did the trick.
On a firm, level pitch the hosts made a lively start through their backs, taking the lead after five minutes when an inside ball to centre Harry Hall was finished in fine style under the posts. Danny Belcher converted.
Brods reacted well and shunted the home side off their own ball at the first scrum. From the resulting pressure Simanu Tusiga grounded the ball over the line but defenders had pushed back the winger by the time the referee arrived.
Michael Briggs went close from the resulting scrum but eventually a penalty try was awarded and Matty Hoyle converted for 7-7 after 10 minutes.
Salem threatened from the restart but the Hipperholme boys’ defence held firm with Matt Raven and Jonny Cole catching the eye.
A wild pass was intercepted by Tusiga on his own 22 and the Samoan ran the length of the field and beat the cover defence. Hoyle again converted.
Brods were dominant in most areas. Liam Scott gained ground with excellent kicking and the Brods lineout worked well with James Ogden and Bob Sykes combining to supply a steady stream of good ball.
Tusiga went close again, losing the ball over the line when clear.
From another dominant scrum, stand in number nine Hoyle dived over near the posts and converted to extend the lead to 21-7 after 23 minutes.
Salem would not lie down and again showed great pace in their backs, moving the ball quickly through hands for Conor Wood to finish wide on the left. Belcher converted well and added a penalty just before half time to make it 17-21.
The Woodhead boys set about their task in the second half with relish and enthusiasm.
They dominated territory and minimised mistakes to keep the pressure on the home side, who could not break out of their own half.
Scrimshaw led the pack superbly and dominated the game with his power and experience. Scott spoke out of turn following an incident which the referee had missed and received a yellow card.
However, as Brods frustrated their hosts it was the Salem players who lost their discipline and several unsavoury incidents provided penalty opportunities.
Briggs was a threat and following a kick and chase his tackler was sent off for foul play.
In the closing seconds the home side was in disarray and as they desperately tried to break the Brods stranglehold, a wild pass was intercepted by Scott, who touched down with glee.
An incident following the Brods score earned another Salem player a red card.
The try not only confirmed victory but also earned Brods a four-try bonus point to move them up two places.