An encouraging, whole-hearted display from a young Old Brodleians side went unrewarded in a 15-7 defeat at Malton and Norton on Saturday.
The hosts, second in Yorkshire One, are possibly the best all round side in the league.
The Hipperhome supporters could be proud of the efforts of the pack in particular. It contained four teenages, with first-team debutant Jonny Cole coming in to join Reece Ward, Harley Morris and Cameron Wroot.
The home side dominated early possession and territory and the visitors had to defend for long periods.
Eventually the pressure told when a penalty kick to the corner resulted in a lineout and the well drilled Malton forwards drove over the line for a 5-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Brods upped their game with Callum Thompson carrying well in midfield. They were achieving parity in the lineout with Matt Raven and James Ogden working well in tandem.
A strong break by Thompson was supported by Luke Scrimshaw and his pass to Manu gave the strong running winger some space in which to work.
Manu chased his own kick and he used his strength to win back the ball and finish in the corner. Matty Hoyle converted from the touchline for a well deserved 7-5 half-time lead.
Brods continued in good style, their enthusiastic defence forcing the home side into errors.
Michael Briggs was a constant threat and he combined well with left-wing Ben Barron to go close in the left-hand corner.
In a real arm wrestle, Malton were awarded a penalty. With a kick to the corner, the home side set up for a repeat of the forward drive which had earned them their opening score and repeated the exercise.
They took the lead with the conversion from Zweli Sodladla.
Brods continued to press but conceded a penalty, which Sodladla converted to deny Brods a losing bonus point.
This Saturday, Old Brodleians will entertain fifth-placed Yorkshire One club Scarborough at Woodhead (2.15pm). Currently six points ahead of the Hipperholme-based side, so Brods will be looking to narrow that gap and gain revenge having lost out to the Seasiders early in the season when they scored in the closing seconds to gain a draw .
The Woodhead boys will be in good heart following a decent performance at Malton and encouraged with the way their young side coped with an experienced Malton side who will be challenging for promotion as the season unfolds. A top four spot remains the target for the Brods. .
The seconds will be away to Sandal in the league and Beavers are also away at Crossleyans 2nd XV. On Sunday, the Under-17s colts entertain Rishworthians while the Under-19s play Pocklington in the Yorkshire Cup, both games kicking off at 1pm.