A much-improved performance only produced a losing bonus point for Old Brodleians in an 18-15 Yorkshire One defeat at Malton and Norton on Saturday.
It was cold, wet and windy at the Gannock and the fact that any rugby was played at all was a minor miracle.
There was never going to be any open, flowing rugby and it was clear that the packs would decide the outcome.
Relegation-threatened Brods kicked off and second-placed Malton retained possession well with some good close handling to gain ground.
The Hipperholme men provided some stiff defence but had no answer to a forward drive in the 10th minute and home skipper Sam Triffitt was awarded a try under the posts, although he clearly lost control of the ball. Zweli Sodladla converted.
There were mistakes by both sides and when Malton lost the ball at their own scrum, Brods No 8 Rob Jennings broke blind and drew his man well before sending Alex Brooke the 30 metres for an excellent try in the corner.
The conversion failed but the signs were that the Brods pack could make it an uncomfortable afternoon for their hosts at the set piece.
Five minutes later Brods took the lead through Phil Town’s penalty from under the Malton posts after a ruck offence.
Malton regained possession from the restart and drove forward from a number of mauls. Eventually the opening appeared and South African scrum half Sodladla spotted the gap to race over for a try which put his side back in front.
Brods were putting Malton’s scrum and line out under increasing pressure. Using the wind to their advantage, Brods set up a position in the corner with half time beckoning.
The Malton defence held firm for three catch and drives but could not hold the final assault when Matt Raven, who had just come off the bench, powered over to give Brods a deserved 15-12 half time lead.
When Brods were penalised at a ruck in the first minute of the second half, Sodladla levelled the scores.
The remainder of the contest was a battle between the packs with Brods holding sway at the set pieces but Malton better around the pitch in the open play.
When danger threatened both defences were up to the mark and play was mainly in midfield.
In the closing seconds, Brods were penalised 30 metres out at a ruck and Sodladla had no hesitation in opting for a kick at goal despite the underfoot conditions to record the winning score.
Brods were not finished and had a series of scrums on half way but the home side held firm and when they finally got their hands on the ball Sodladla sent the ball into the crowd to end the game.