OLD Brodleians bowed out of North One East with defeat at the hands of opponents who have had a tremendous second half to the season.
The damage had been done the previous week, in the home defeat by Morpeth, and Old Crossleyans’ defeat of that side meant Brods would not have stayed up, even with victory on Saturday.
Heavy rain for an hour or two before kick off meant that the already wet pitch had standing water and the conditions hampered efforts to play any form of fluent handling rugby.
Early pressure from the Gosforth team earned a penalty which was missed by Borthwick and Oliver Akroyd’s covering tackle saved a scoring opportunity following a kick through from winger Weightman.
Brods fought their way back deep into the Northern half following a well placed penalty kick by Danny Wood. The shortened lineout move was well defended, however.
It was now Brods’ turn to monopolise possession and there were strong runs from Alex Dawson, Aaron Fowler and Luke Scrimshaw. However, the Northern defenders were well drilled and repelled the attacks.
The home side took advantage of the conditions when a speculative kick was fielded by Fowler. However, in the slippery conditions possession was lost and winger Brown picked up and raced 30 metres to score, converted by Borthwick.
Brods fought back and camped on the Northern line following another well placed line kick by Wood. Brods were awarded a penalty. However, following a fracas the referee showed Kyle Millward a yellow card and reversed the penalty to enable the home side not only to clear but also to take the ball deep into Brod’s territory.
Awarded a lineout, Northern set up a rolling maul and wing forward Ludford broke on the blind side before forcing his way over to register his side’s second try after 31 minutes play and with the conversion bouncing off the cross bar and over it was clear is was not going to be Brods’ day.
Northern scored again following a mistake arising from the wet conditions. Possession was lost in midfield and pacy centre Borthwick showed a clean pair of heels to the covering defence, scoring wide out on the right.
The conversion was missed but Brods were looking down the barrel at 19-0 down just before half time.
However, a penalty for offside allowed Wood to kick to the corner and Brods’ pack made no mistake at the lineout, their well rehearsed drive to the line being finished by Scrimshaw. Wood converted.
However, the second half was something of an anti-climax with Brods unable to continue their fightback. The only points came from a Borthwick penalty for an alleged high tackle.
The visiting players put in plenty of effort and whilst they continued to exert pressure through good possession and territory they could not break down the home defence.
The final whistle ended a disappointing season but Brods have no doubt that their young team will regroup and bounce back.
l BRODS seconds finished their season on a high with an excellent win at Sheffield Tigers in the Yorkshire Merit Premiership.