OLD Brodleians were unable to gatecrash Billingham’s North One East title party.
However, their heavy defeat in the north-east has set the alarm bells ringing once again as the Woodhead men plunged a little closer to the danger zone.
They are now just one point better off than close rivals Old Crossleyans and two behind Morpeth, who visit Calderdale in 12 days for what amounts to a must win encounter for the Brods.
The visitors were unchanged for the first time this season and their first half performance was excellent as they used the strong breeze to their advantage.
Brods retained possession for long periods and patiently moved through the phases to build pressure in the Billingham half where they controlled territory and possession for long periods.
Brods created enough pressure to force five penalties which might have been kickable. However, they chose to work to the corners and this produced due reward when a rolling maul and drive formed and Kyle Millward scored an unconverted try.
Billingham were struggling to create any meaningful pressure and when they did occasionally break out, Brods’s scrambling defence was equal to the task.
Brods were then disappointed not to be awarded a second try as half time approached and that disappointment turned to agony as in the fifth minute of injury time the home side broke out of defence to run the length of the field and score a converted tryfor a 7-5 half time lead
The danger signs were clear as Billingham then started to combine tremendous pace and support play with coupled with aggressive defence.
From the second half kick off the home team displayed great speed and teamwork to score immediately which was followed by further tries on a regular basis as Brods could not cope with the attacking onslaught created by their hosts.
Brods tried valiantly but at times were chasing shadows before scoring a consolation try in the closing seconds through Liam Scott, converted by Dan Wood.