Brods' big finish earns draw
Backs Zak Thompson and Andy Clay scored tries in the last five minutes as Old Brodleians salvaged a 27-27 home draw against York.
It was a thrilling contest for the neutrals in a Woodhead crowd swelled by more than 90 former players of the Hipperholme club attending a reunion.
Brods produced another very mixed performance but the spirit in the side cannot be questioned and their three point haul, which included a four try bonus, lifted them to second in the table.
York arrived level on points with the Woodhead side, and both teams mixed strong attacking play with lapses in defence.
York opened strongly, with the benefit of the slope, and took advantage of Brods’ misdemeanours to take a 6-0 lead with two penalties from full back George Davies.
York were dominating possession and territory but when Brods eventually worked a foothold in the York 22, they had a spell of sustained pressure.
From a scrum in centre field the Brods backs worked the ball right and Chris Vine entered the line from full back to show great strength and break tackles before touching down.
The conversion was missed but the score stood at 5-6 after 30 minutes.
From the restart prop Benny Pritchett made a great driving run at the heart of the York defence.
The visitors regrouped and just before half time stretched the Brods defence on their left flank and centre Sam Forbes scored wide out. The conversion was added from the touchline and York led 13-5.
York opened the second half strongly and their speedy centre Tom Newitt wriggled out of a tackle and showed great strength to touch down near the posts. Davies again converted to stretch the lead to 15 points.
Although there was still 35 minutes to play, Brods were looking down the barrel.
The home side upped their game. Following a strong break by Rob Jennings the ball was recycled quickly and Danny Cole took the final pass to score a fine try close to the posts. However, the conversion was missed.
York immediately struck back when a poor kick out of defence was gathered and returned with interest by the backs, the left winger finishing in fine style.
With 17 minutes still on the clock, Matty Hoyle snatched an interception out of the air and raced 60 metres to score between the posts. The conversion was added and the momentum had switched.
Pritchett ran hard at the opposition, supported by Jennings and Clay, and the ball finally reached young wing man Thompson, who touched down in the corner but was pulled back for a foot in touch.
With time running out the Brods’ pressure was unremitting and when the ball was again moved to the left wing, Thompson had enough space to gallop over in the corner for an unconverted try.
The Woodhead boys attacked from the restart with driving runs in midfield. Having worked their way into the York 22, Clay took his opportunity, using his pace and power to cut back against the grain of the York defence.
His try brought the sides level but the conversion was missed, producing a fair result.
STRUGGLING Halifax surprisingly drew 31-31 at home to leaders Knottingley in Yorkshire Three.
Halifax Vandals’ five-match winning run in the same section was ended in a 14-12 defeat at Old Otliensians.
OLD Rishworthians had no game in Yorkshire Two but other results panned out well for them, leaving them firmly in second place, with nearest challengers Pontefract seven points adrift in third.
The Development team had a fine 26-14 win at Old Brodleians. There were two tries each for winger Rhys Town and prop Phil Kershaw with one conversion for Lee Atkinson and two from Joe Billing.
At Copley, the Return to Rugby social side also had a good 24–5 win over Huddersfield YMCA Nomads.
There were two tries for winger John Pestov and one each for scrum half Gary Morris and centre Fraser Davidson. Prop Wes Aldridge kicked two conversions.