A SUPERB defensive effort against the wind and slope in the first half paved the way for Old Brodleians to beat visitors Bradford Salem 15-0 yesterday.
It was a much-needed win for the Woodhead men after four successive defeats and took them five points clear of Salem in seventh place in Yorkshire One.
Salem had comfortably won the home meeting but Brods controlled the opening exchanges with some patient rugby against the elements.
They worked their way upfield, monopolising possession and producing some good support play to threaten the Salem defence.
When the visitors finally got control of the ball they cleared their lines with a mighty kick down field and proceeded to camp in the Brods 22 and test the strength of the home tackling.
The Hipperholme boys were up for the contest and were resolute in defence with Joe Kafatolu and Danny Vento outstanding. Salem twice crossed the line but were held up and Brods won turnovers to regain possession.
The deadlock was broken after half an hour when Kafatolu broke in midfield and released the supporting Rob Jennings with a deft inside pass. Jennings broke clear with defenders trying to chase him down but made it to the try line.
Phil Town did well to convert the try and in the remaining minutes of the half the Woodhead boys continued to press with Gareth Moger and Liam Stapley both working hard and carrying the ball well.
The home team were happy to take a 7-0 lead into half time and Salem started the second half with 14 men following a yellow card for a high tackle. The visitors were also missing the influential Danny Belcher at fly half following injury.
Brods continued to dominate possession but Salem were also strong in defence and denied Brods any opportunities to extend the lead until the hour mark.
Ball handling was difficult and it took a mighty drive by Vento to pull defenders out of position. When the ball was released quickly from the ensuing maul the Brods backs did well to move it swiftly to the speedy Harris Morris on the left wing. Morris left several defenders in his wake as he crossed wide out to extend the score line to 12-0.
Town extended the lead with a penalty and Brods played out the remainder of the game in control but unable to extend their advantage.
Brods coach Ollie Akroyd was again pleased with the all-round effort and will be looking for similar commitment away to improving Dinnington next week.