The final of the Yorkshire Shield will be an all-Calderdale affair after Old Brodleians hit back from 20-3 down to upset Moortown by 29-25 at Woodhead last night.
The Hipperholme side will meet Heath for the silverware at Keighley next Thursday (7.30) in an unexpected addition to the plethora of derby matches involving Calderdale’s four Yorkshire One clubs this season.
Brods had lost their last four league games, a run which started with a 39-12 defeat to Moortown on the same ground a month earlier.
The Leeds side went on to win the title in convincing style but Ollie Akroyd’s men lifted themselves for the Shield clash.
Brods kicked off playing up the slope and a high tackle by Michael Briggs enabled centre Eddie Crossland to kick Moortown into a 3-0 lead after six minutes.
Moortown dominated territory with some good tactical kicking early on but the home side eventually worked their way into the Moortown 22 and Phil Town levelled the scores following a ruck infringement.
The Leeds side went 10-3 up midway through the half from a penalty kicked to the corner. Lineout possession was well controlled and from close quarters a loose forward broke free for a converted try.
Brods were competing well in the scrum but were inconsistent at the lineout. The honours were shared at ruck and maul.
Crossland extended the lead to 13-3 with an excellent kick from 40 metres but Brods defended well for the last 10 minutes of the half.
Moortown had the ideal start to the second half when a clearance kick was returned with pace and some good support and link play resulted in a converted try under the posts.
Brods had it all to do with a 17-point deficit but they camped on the visitors’ line and the pressure told when young hooker Liam Stapley stepped through the defence to touch down. Town converted and Brods were back in the game after 50 minutes.
Brods’ momentum was building and they began to dominate with a strengthening breeze and most of those in a good crowd behind them.
Good play from the backs led to a well-finished try by Jason Dodds in the corner and Brods continued to take the game to their visitors with powerful running throughout the side.
They hit the front when the ball was moved right and Alex Murphy took several tacklers over the line with him, Town converting from the touchline to make it 22-20.
Moortown responded as the game became a little feisty. A penalty conceded by Brods was reversed and the clearing kick eased pressure.
Moortown missed a penalty with five minutes left but the Brods forwards continued to have the edge over their opposite numbers with more strong running from Bennie Pritchett, Alex Dawson, Danny Vento and Rob Jennings.
Brods camped on the Moortown line following a poor clearance kick and after some great rucking, scrum half Joe Armitage took advantage of the scattered defence to power over from close range.
Town’s conversion opened up a nine-point gap with three minutes remaining but in a prolonged final passage of play the visitors had the last word with an unconverted try.
Heath have won both league meetings with Brods this season but the North Dean men have their eyes on a bigger prize than the Shield with promotion on the line at West Hartlepool on Saturday.