Barnes treble seals Brotherton thrashing
ODSAL Sedbergh collected their first league win of the season in style as they thrashed Brotherton Bulldogs 40-8 at Odsal Rec.
It marked the side's first victory in Championship One, albeit at the second attempt after an earlier two points was expunged following Boothtown's withdrawal.
The hosts certainly turned on the style, with prop Ste Barnes and centre Robert Priestley both grabbing hat-tricks.
In a nip and tuck first period Sedge had gone into the break with a narrow 12-8 lead.
But they proved ruthless up the Odsal Rec slope in the second stanza, posting 28 unanswered points to seal a valuable win.
The opening stages belonged to the Black and Golds as hits and half breaks came at regular intervals, with the tireless Barnie Bland leading the way with an abundance of work and Kris Fawthrop testing the Brotherton defence. And it wasn't long before the hosts were on the scoreboard.
After forcing an error in the Odsal red zone, Robert Priestley carried the ball forward from the resultant scrum before bursting through and racing 80 metres to score under the posts.
Veteran full-back Shaun Flynn tagged on the extra two.
The early Sedge onslaught continued as the home side camped inside the Brotherton half and it wasn’t long before they doubled their tally with a well-worked try.
A neat inside pass sent stand-off Paul Bottomley racing through the middle and he sent the supporting Ste Barnes in for his first of the afternoon. Flynn added the conversion from in front of the uprights.
Despite holding a 12-0 lead it appeared as though Odsal began to relax and the visitors soon found their way back into the game.
A simple passing move saw their loose-forward burst through on the right edge and he beat the covering defence to race 50 metres to the try line. The conversion was missed.
The Bulldogs continued to enjoy the better of field position and almost scored again when they exploited an overlap, but winger Jared Priestley’s attempted intercept halted the attack.
But his efforts proved in vain when Brotherton switched the point of the attack and a flowing backs move saw their winger dive in at the left corner. Once again the conversion drifted wide.
Odsal did have their chances and a half break from Ben Cousins and pass sent winger Sam Greenwood racing down the wing, but he was pulled in by the retreating defence.
Brotherton frustrations began to boil over as the half came to a close, with their hooker seeing yellow for a trip on Flynn and winger Jared Priestley literally having the shirt ripped off his back.
James Sharp bared the brunt of it though when a blatant elbow knocked him out, but somehow the referee failed to hand out a card despite penalising the Brotherton player.
The visitors would have felt confident coming in to the break just four points behind, and with the slope advantage they would have held hopes of a victory over the Championship One basement club.
But it wasn’t to be as the Black and Golds came flying out of the blocks and punished the visitors with a clinical display of rugby league.
It was Ste Barnes who got the ball rolling for Odsal. The bustling prop forward hit a perfect angle for Bottomley to put him over next to the posts. Flynn added the conversion.
The Brotherton defence began to tire and Sedge proved ruthless as they pinned the visitors in their own half for repeat sets.
The pressure eventually told when a towering bomb from Scott Smith was fumbled by the Bulldogs full-back and from the resultant scrum a flowing move saw Robert Priestley race over in the corner. The conversion was missed.
Sedge continued to dominate field position and some punishing defence, led by second-rower Josh Briggs and hooker Shaq Jones, kept the visitors pinned down.
They weren’t without their chances but when they got near the Odsal line the hosts stood firm to soak up the pressure and went on the attack themselves.
A loose pass went to ground and hit Sam Hall on the legs. While the Brotherton defence stopped to appeal for a knock on Hall stayed alert and finished the try next to the uprights.
Smith added the simple conversion to complete the scoring and seal a memorable victory for the home side.
It was a big hit from Briggs that set in motion the play for the next Sedge try. His rib rattling tackle forced an error and Smith scooped up the loose ball.
He sent Jared Priestley racing through a gap and although he was hauled down, from the resultant quick play the ball a sweeping move ended in Joshua Tordoff sending Robert Priestley in for his hat-trick.
Smith took over the kicking duties and added the conversion.
Robert Priestley was almost in for his fourth when he exploited a blind side overlap, but he slipped agonisingly short of the try line.
But the rout was completed when Ste Barnes added his third try of the game. Once again a crunching tackle forced the ball free and Barnes scooped up the loose ball to run in for his hat-trick. Smith converted.
It was a vital win for Odsal as they got off the mark in Championship One, and they will be hoping for a hat-trick of wins when they travel to Queensbury next weekend for the Jack Senior Memorial Bradford Cup semi-final.