Old Brodleians kept themselves out of the Yorkshire One drop zone with a typically gritty 10-7 home win over Bridlington yesterday.
They wrestled control from the east coast visitors, who looked the more likely winners for much of the first half, on a pitch made very heavy by morning rain.
Danny Wood’s penalty just past the midway point in the second half, which supplemented a converted try from Aussie Sterling Ross near the end of the opening 40 minutes, helped the Woodhead men avenge a defeat at Brid earlier in the season.
As it turned out, the four points proved vital with Hullensians drawing at Middlesbrough and another of the strugglers, Pontefract, winning.
Brods had gone into 2015 in good heart but in spite of two training sessions last week they struggled to hit their stride down the slope.
There was a flash of early promise, young league debutant Chester Butler taking play close to the Brid try line before stand off Liam Scott’s game was brought to a premature end by a high tackle.
Brid winger Jack Arthur was yellow carded as a result but Wood’s penalty hit the right-hand upright.
Brods, who were able to bring on another No 10 in Tom Andrews, were then penalised themselves and their normally reliable defence was easily unlocked.
An inside pass did the trick and speedy back Will Davies dived in under the posts, stand off Tom Kemp converting to give Brid a 7-0 lead after 10 minutes.
That proved to be Brid’s only try-scoring opportunity during the entire game as the home side claimked a marked territorial advantage.
Both sides were winning their own ball at the front of the line and there was parity in the scrums, although Brods’ James Ogden did strike a couple against the head during the course of the contest.
Chester, Phil Town and Matty Hoyle were catching the eye for the home side but their runs lacked support and there was a general lack of cohesion about Brods play in the first period.
Winger Hoyle juggled the ball over the try line and Wood kicked several penalties to touch near the corners but Brods were unable to make their pressure tell.
Just when it looked as if they would draw a blank down the slope, Ross managed to get over the line from close range and Wood added a good goal in the conditions to make it 7-7 at the break.
Brid must have been satisfied with their efforts in the first half but they were a clear second best from then on.
It was all Brods in the third quarter, with the forwards collectively upping their game, but they were penalised every time they got near the Brid try line.
Eventually the visitors offended at the breakdown just outside their 22 and although it wasn’t the cleanest strike of Wood’s kicking career the ball cleared the bar and the hosts led 10-7 on 64 minutes.
Brods lost the hard-working Ross to the sin-bin approaching the final 10 minutes but held on comfortably, a desperate penalty attempt from near half-way by Brid never threatening the target.