Six wins on bounce for Brods

Brods v Bradford Salem'Laurie Hamer scoring his try.
Brods v Bradford Salem'Laurie Hamer scoring his try.

Old Brodleians remain two points behind free-scoring York at the top of Yorkshire One after a 35-17 success over Bradford Salem at Woodhead yesterday.

They were 17-5 down approaching half time, playing up the slope into driving rain, but added 30 unanswered points to make it six wins in a row at the start of their season.

Brods were maintaining their good recent record against the visitors from Shay Lane, who now have former Old Crossleyans and Halifax coach Neil Spence in charge.

Salem adopted a simple plan of kicking deep and trying to force errors with a rush defence. They also competed aggressively at the breakdown.

Brods stole a couple of early lineouts and back rowers Laurie Hamer and Ryan Harris carried strongly but the hosts knocked on several times in the wet conditions.

Visiting No 8 Christian Baines was the first to take advantage, plunging over for an unconverted try in the seventh minute. That provided an opportunity for Brods to change to their light blue shirts and prevent a possible colour clash.

Home No 8 Ollie Akroyd broke away but play was brought back for a home penalty as Brods took the game to their rivals but from within their own half.

Salem went 10-0 up on 21 minutes. Full back Ryan Smith’s try was the reward for some excellent support play from half-way involving half a dozen visiting players, although the final pass appeared well forward.

Salem pressed for a third try through their pack but Brods broke away to reply on 26 minutes.

Phil Town contested a box kick clearance from fellow home back Joe Armitage and the ball broke to winger Ben Barron, who managed to evade the cover in a 70 metre run up the hill.

Akroyd was unable to convert and alarm bells were soon ringing again for the home side when Salem took a 12 point lead on 34 minutes with a penalty try.

Winger Eddie Carter and Harris lost possession in quick succession in the home 22 and Brods, with American prop Bennie Pritchett off the field for treatment to a cut head, went backwards in the scrum for the only time in the afternoon and halted Salem’s scoring effort illegally.

Undeterred, Brods scored just before and just after half time to draw level at 17-17.

Lock Bob Sykes touched down for Brods’ second try in surreal circumstances. Stand off Dan Cole kicked a penalty to the corner and Sykes took lineout ball and a passive visiting defence allowed him an almost uncontested stroll to the line.

Cole’s deep kick and Smith’s knock on surrendered field position early in the second half and talented runner Town weaved past defenders down the middle. Akroyd added the easy goal and slotted a penalty on 56 minutes to give Brods the lead for the first time.

Salem came back, encouraged by home scrum half Armitage’s yellow card, but looked bereft of ideas in attack and their forwards were met by solid defence.

Brods, with young replacement Cameron Wroot producing some destructive running, were more clinical and added three more unconverted tries.

Hamer scored following a driving maul; Barron got his second try wide on the right after a fluent passing move; and veteran Akroyd showed he retains his fitness and stamina by supporting well to touch down in the last minute.