Old Brodleians were beaten 38-32 at Beverley on Saturday in an entertaining final match of the Yorkshire One campaign.
Both sides have finished in the top half of the table and they scored six tries each, Danny Vento bagging a hat-trick for the visitors.
Brods, bidding to avoid a fourth successive defeat, led entering added time at the end but were beaten by a controversial score from the home team.
Both sides contributed to a fast, open game but were guilty of errors which were typical of their inconsistent seasons.
The visitors had to defend early on but broke out through Michael Briggs and good support play earned Vento the opening try after seven minutes.
Beverley continued to dominate territory and possession but the Hipperholme boys defended well. However, the visitors conceded penalties in the ruck and after 25 minutes Beverley took advantage when their inside centre broke through to touch down under the posts for a converted try.
Beverley continued to press and added to their score from a five metre scrum, their scrum half scrambling over the line to make it 12-5 with five minutes to half time.
Brods responded well, turning down a kickable penalty to go for touch and Ben Hoyle scored from their second attempt at a driving maul to narrow the deficit to two points at half time.
From the restart Beverley kicked the ball dead and from the resulting scrum on half way Brods looked to break down the blind side. However, a pass went to ground and the home winger picked up and beat the cover defence. The conversion extended the lead to 19-10.
Brods were competing well and Liam Stapley’s strong break down centre field set the platform for the visitors to exert pressure. Jason Dodds was featuring well with some strong running and the Woodhead boys got reward for some good work in the ruck when Vento scored again from close quarters. Matt Carbutt converted to reduce the deficit to 19-17.
The cut and thrust of the game continued when strong running from Beverley in centre field set up the position for the ball to be moved swiftly to the left wing for a try in the corner.
The game moved into the final quarter and Brods were next on the score sheet. A strong run by Rob Jennings, off the subs’ bench, was supported by Vento and Briggs to create the position for Alex Dawson to finish a fine move and keep Brods very much in the game at 24-22.
With 10 minutes remaining Brods camped on the Bev line and from a well practiced lineout routine the Brods drive was good and Vento completed his hat-trick to give Brods a three-point lead.
However, Beverley scored immediately from a loose restart and at 31-27 it looked game over.
The resolute visitors would not give up and following an almighty effort from Briggs to break out of defence, Jennings ran strongly to take play deep into the home 22. Dodds, who had worked hard all afternoon in attack and defence, was on hand to take the final pass and recapture the lead at 31-32.
Beverley’s restart didn’t appear to have made 10 metres but the ball was spilled and the referee allowed play to continue. Despite claims for a knock on and possibly offside, the ball broke well for the home side and their right winger raced away to take advantage of the confusion and win the game with a converted try.
The game was played in good spirit and great for the impartial spectator but perhaps not so for the coaches.