Rugby round-up: Old Brods and Heath in derby draw and wins for Rishies and Crocs

Old Brods and Heath drew 26-26 in the match of the day in North One East.

By Tom Scargill
Monday, 28th March 2022, 9:16 am
Updated Monday, 28th March 2022, 9:18 am
Old Brods v Heath

Both sides have been competing at the top end of the league for the whole season however Brods' form has faltered since the turn of the year, while Heath have also lost some ground over the last two weeks.

Currently fourth in the table, Heath could still achieve promotion if results go their way, but for the Brods the incentive is simple - local pride, bragging rights and the Dave Littlefair Trophy.

The game started with Heath playing down the slope however a breeze from the east is always a leveller and heath missed an early opportunity to score from a penalty goal attempt.

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Old Brods v Heath

Brods played their way back up-field, were awarded a penalty in centre field which Phil Town kicked to the corner and a lineout opportunity.

Brods' well-rehearsed lineout took the ball and drove strongly towards the Heath line, when the ball was released Jimmy Hodkinson fed Matty Briggs whose step and pace left the Heath defence flat footed as he dived over the line between the posts.

The teenage fly half was making his home debut for the first-team and his performance throughout the afternoon repaid the faith shown by the coaching team's selection.

Town converted to give Brods an early seven point lead after nine minutes play.

Old Brods v Heath

Heath responded well and took the game back to their hosts with some good forward interplay putting pressure on the Brods line and from a resulting scrummage and drive crossed to score wide on the left but with the missed conversion Brods still held the lead 7-5.

The West Vale boys however quickly added to their score when Callum Harriet Brown ran strongly down the left from within his own half, the pacey winger avoided several attempted tackles and finished well wide on the left.

With the conversion Heath held the lead 12-7.

The game continued at a pace as both sides enjoyed the excellent conditions and as Brods were dominating possession in midfield an intentional knock on by a Heath defender gave Town the opportunity for three points from the 10 metre line . Town struck the ball well and converted - Brods 10-12 Heath.

Old Brods v Heath. Photo: Robin Sugden

A further indiscretion by Heath provided Town with a further opportunity with a penalty from just inside the half and Town again struck the ball superbly to give Brods a 13-12 lead.

Brods continued to dominate possession and territory. The front row of Alex Dawson, Cole Wilson and Elliot Craven were working hard with ball in hand and a further penalty was conceded by the Heath defenders as they tried to slow the game down.

Jonny Cole received a yellow card and from the resulting penalty Phil Town once more stepped up to take the three points on offer. 16-12 to Brods at half time .

A keenly contested game was living up to the expectation of the large crowd and from the start of the second half Brods immediately went close to extending their lead.

Old Brods v Heath. Photo: Robin Sugden

Jason Dodd took a high ball on half way and evaded several tackles as he ran strongly to the posts. A last man tackle stopped a try and from the resulting restart Brods were awarded another penalty which town converted from under the posts to make it 19-12.

Brods were on fire with the forwards dominating the exchanges, Bob Sykes was outstanding and when the ball was turned over in midfield Jimmy Hodkinson hoisted a high, speculative kick into the Heath 22, the ball was chased down by another teenager on debut, George Gillgrass timed his run to perfection to take the ball from under the nose of the Heath defence and ran clear to score on the right. Town converted again to give Brods a 26-12 lead.

The game continued to be played at good pace and Callum Harriet Brown once more crossed the Brods line in the left hand corner, however the ball was not grounded and Brods cleared their lines.

Heath now stepped up in familiar fashion as they pressed the Brods line and put the home team under intense pressure.

Brods defended well with the back row of Hoyle, Wroot and another teenager on home debut, Louis Inman, working overtime.

Yet Heath were relentless and patient in building the pressure. The onslaught continued as Heath got into rhythm and were rewarded when Callum Harriet Brown tormented the Brods defenders with a weaving run to the line, the ball was kept alive and after some good interpassing Heath scored just to the left of the posts.

Old Brods v Heath. Photo: Robin Sugden

With the clock ticking towards full time and the score 26-19 all the pressure was now on the Brods line and the defence held until the repeated short drives were rewarded with a try to Heath and the conversion to level the scores and the final whistle.

Heath may well have the chance of promotion depending on results over the next three weeks.

Brods will be frustrated at a game they should have won, but can be pleased at the renewed enthusiasm and the performances of their teenage debutants in an enthralling and high pressure derby.

Old Rishworthians won 29-21 against Roundhegians to notch up their second successive victory.

At 26-14 at half-time, they were coasting, but could only manage a Josh Kelly penalty in the second half, although they did enough to contain the visitors.

Rishworthians started the game well and were soon in front as hooker Kris Hattam bundled over from short range for an unconverted try.

They were then caught off-guard as a Roundhegians player broke from his own half and aided by some sloppy tackling ran through for a converted try.

It was a spur the home side needed and they came back strongly. They continued their dominance with a fine 50-22 kick from Josh Kelly and after a couple of phases from the lineout the ball came out for centre Doug Heseltine to touch down. Kelly added the conversion.

Rishworthians continued to press and a line break by lock James McHugh then saw the ball come out to Heseltine, who threw a double dummy to carve through and score. Kelly added the conversion.

Fellow centre Corey White got in on the act and after breaking through three tackles put flanker Dillon Hilton in under the posts. Kelly converted.

Just before the break Roundhegians came back strongly and scored a converted try.

The visitors raised their game in the second period, while Rishworthians were unable to rise to the heights of the first half, although they always looked good with the ball in hand.

Replacement Kian Sutcliffe, White and Hilton all went close, but it was only a late Kelly penalty which allowed them to stretch their lead.

In the last minutes Roundhegians managed a consolation converted try.

In a transitional season Rishworthians had set a target of 50 league points, which was achieved with this victory.

Old Crossleyans won 38-19 at Huddersfield YMCA.

Gaz Greenwood's men, who were on the pursuit of league champion status, were taking nothing for granted against a YMCA team who beat the Crocs earlier in the season.

The Crocs started with their usual high intensity and following strong drives from Cam Brannan and Ruben Pollard, it wasn’t long before Billy Hammond seized upon good field position to drive over and register the first try.

The purposeful Crocs then quickly delivered another score following the strong running from Jack Hammond releasing Josh Hunt into space to race and score.

YMCA struck back with a well worked try following some rare passive defence to make the score 12-7.

But it was the Crocs who then raised the intensity further leading to further to tries from Rob Oliver and Billy Hammond taking the score to 24-7 at half-time.

The second half started in the same fashion and following excellent kicking out of hand by Joe Gallagher the Crocs registered further tries through Jack Lumb and Rob Oliver taking the to score 38-7.

YMCA showed character to score twice in the dying minutes taking the final score to 38-19 and another convincing victory for the Crocs.

Huddersfield YMCA v Old Crossleyans
Huddersfield YMCA v Old Crossleyans