Old Brodleians put a narrow derby reverse at Old Crossleyans behind them with a comfortable 32-7 home win over Yorkshire One’s bottom side Keighley yesterday.
“We made hard work of it,” conceded coach Ollie Akroyd, after watching his side score two late converted tries for a rather flattering margin of victory.
Nevertheless, Brods always looked likely winners after building a 13-0 lead against the slope on a perfect autumn day.
A Keighley side whose enthusiastic defence was their best feature and also counter-rucked effectively, threatened to make a game of it with a converted try after the break.
However, with the luxury of three decent props following Bennie Pritchett’s return from America and a squad containing more strong runners than for some time, Brods powered to victory.
A lack of fluency in the backs was the main concern for Akroyd; the first four tries were all scored by big forwards before centre Phil Town had the final say.
Brods were proficient at scrum and lineout but did invite some Keighley pressure onto themselves with needless first half clearance kicks which failed to find touch.
Town opened the scoring with an easy 13th minute penalty as the home forwards cranked up the pressure, Keighley’s scrum half Lucas Uren having been shown a yellow card by highly-competent female referee Nia Parsonage from the South Yorkshire Society.
Keighley responded strongly and were held up over the try line from a quick tap penalty. Their No 8 Leigh Sugden went close but the visitors eventually lost the ball into touch.
Lock Tom Hanson and No 8 Cameron Wroot broke the first line of defence as Brods hit back while open side flanker Ben Hoyle was the link in much of Brods’ good work.
Jason Dodd was forced to knock the ball dead from a Keighley grubber kick, but had been pushed in the pursuit. The winger then combined with Town to make ground down the left and blind side flanker Alex Dawson eventually cashed in with an unconverted try to make it 8-0 on 32 minutes.
Replacement Pritchett announced his return in typical fashion, with a knife-through-butter break on half-way. The pass to him was just forward but Dodd and Alex Murphy gained another advanced position and there was no stopping prop Callum Thompson from close range near to the corner flag.
The half-time whistle came at the right time for Keighley, who almost conceded again as Brods produced some excellent support play and impressive young hooker Liam Stapley was held up over the try line,
Keighley turned round to face the slope with a positive frame of mind and after Dawson was sin-binned, Uren rewarded the visitors’ pressure and Robert Wilkinson converted.
Brods turned down an easy three points and their decision proved justified when lock Tom Hanson forced his way over following a lineout 15 metres out for an 18-7 lead on 57 minutes.
Play was broken up by injury stoppages and some carelessness in possession from both sides but Brods finished with a flourish.
Murphy broke through and drew the last man but inexplicably failed to pass to Dodd. Prop Joe Kafatolu saved some of the lock’s blushes by plunging over shortly after.
Town converted and then floated over a fine conversion following a trademark swallow dive finish, after Dawson had shrugged off tacklers in a fine run down the middle.