Old Brodleians 15 Heath 3: Strong finish from Brods enables them to pull level with rivals
As in their last home game against Selby, the Brods forwards showed strength and staying power to tip the scales decisively their side’s way.
Lively flanker Jack Andrews and hooker James Ogden touched down from lineout catch and drives before winger Ben Barron added the coup de grace with a long, arcing run to the corner in the closing seconds.
Stand-in kicker Ollie Akroyd was unable to add any of the conversions, or an easier penalty with the score 10-3, and Brods also missed the line kicking of injured Danny Wood.
Heath, lacking their talisman Ian Downsborough through work commitments, have been in decent form but they were strangely subdued and never threatened to cross the whitewash.
They failed to make any impression with the slope in a first half which ended 0-0 and provided little to warm the 300 or so spectators who had braved winter’s first icy blast.
The closest Heath came to the try line was via Ezra Hinchliffe’s penalties to touch. However, hooker Mark Puttick was unable to find the two tallest men on the field, Alistair Gordon and Fergus Marsden, at the lineouts.
Heath centre Ezra Hinchliffe missed the one chance of points in the first half when he was off target with a straight 35-metre penalty after 24 minutes.
The signs were starting to look ominous for the visitors when Brods finished the opening 40 minutes strongly.
Centre Liam Scott was caught in two minds when the Heath defence was stretched. That reflected some general indecision in both backs lines and Heath winger Matt Baxendale’s knock-on in the last action of the half summed up a 40 minutes which had failed to deliver.
Speculation that the game might finish 0-0 was scuppered by the exchange referee’s surprise decision to penalise Brods for offside in front of their own posts three minutes after the break.
Hinchliffe gratefully accepted the chance to put Heath in front. The Heath scrum was already beating a retreat and the Brods forwards turned the screw with Callum Thompson prominent.
Home scrum-half Dom Georgiou might have had a try following his quick tap penalty on halfway but Heath were unable to escape and Tom Andrews edged Brods in front on 52 minutes.
Full-back Matty Hoyle lost the ball 10 metres short of the line and the referee came to Heath’s rescue when Georgiou and Ogden had tries ruled out.
But the dam eventually burst when Ogden made it 10-3 on 72 minutes and Brods butchered a three-on-one overlap before youngster Barron denied Heath a losing bonus point with his fantastic solo effort.