Old Brodleians U11’s entertained Hull in the quarter finals of the U11’s Yorkshire Cup at Woodhead Park on Sunday. The visitors were full of confidence after defeating Old Rishworthians in the previous round and Old Brods realised they would have to raise their game if they were to progress to the semi-final. The result was a memorable performance from the home side against powerful opposition.
Playing down the slope with the wind in the first half, Brods knew they had to take advantage of the conditions and build a lead that could be defended. The forwards began strongly and showed great mobility in making sure they got to the rucks in numbers to provide good, quick ball for the backs to make use of. The visitors were finding it difficult to deal with Liam Stapley
’s strong running which had him twice being held over the line. He was also tackled just short and also knocked on with the Hull line at his mercy.
Brods continued to press and claimed the first score when, from a scrum, the ball was passed through the backs hands for outside centre Stapley to burst through. A second try soon followed after another scrum near the Hull line was won and a quick pass from scrum half George Hodkinson
enabled stand-off Ben Stringer to find a gap in the visitor’s defence to make the touchdown. With props Sam Allen
and Finlay Waldron taking it in turns to drive into their opponents to set up attacks and with Cillian Neal
pouncing on any loose ball Hull were starved of possession.
Brods were mixing their attacking play in an attempt to extend their lead but Hull’s defence stood up to the onslaught. Brods finally made all the pressure pay when Harris Morris
, using his blistering pace evaded a number of tackles to score twice in as many minutes. With Stringer and Morris sharing the conversions, Brods ended the first half with a useful twenty eight point lead to take into the interval.
It was certainly a game of two halves and now the bigger Hull forwards, playing down the slope, were able to dominate possession and make big yards at every play. Brods were pinned back in their own half for long periods, only managing to clear their line with some good kick and chases and clearing runs from Tom Wildsmith
and Joe Potter
The visitors kept pressing and were rewarded with three converted tries, despite a courageous defensive display from the home side. This led to a nail biting final few minutes as another try and conversion would have resulted in a Hull victory. Brods managed to hold out with heroic tackling from notably Sam Robinson
, Josh Clegg
and Tom Ashton
. The final play, a desperate Hull forward drive to the line was stopped just short, enabling Neal to steal the ball and run into touch to end the game.
Old Brods are now in the semi-final of the competition, with a tough visit to Selby their next target.