The unbeaten second team travelled to Ilkley knowing that this would be there first real test of premiership rugby & in the first 20 minutes it looked like they were in for a torrid afternoon.
It was a slow start for the Brods, making silly handling errors & missing tackles all over the park- before they knew it Ilkley were 12- 3 up – only the assured boot of Zak Thompson keeping the boys in touch with another penalty conversion from 40 metres out. Another Ilkley try came straight from the restart putting them further in front with a lead now stretched out to 20- 6.
Changes were needed & it was Richard Stokes who came on from the bench to give the Brods the just what was required. His first telling impact was to get into the ribs of the Ilkley fly half who had been pulling all the strings up until now. The tone was now set & belief started to come back into the team after shaky start, going in to half time withe score still at 20-6
The second half started with the Brods playing with new belief & control- the forwards were getting on top & making great metres into the Ilkley half. Back rowers Laurie Hamer & Jay Dahlinger made a couple of drives well into the opposition 22, before Scrum Half Matthew Hoyle sent the ball out wide & with some pin point passing Eddie Carter was able to dive in at the corner, His try was converted superbly by Thompson to make it a 7 point ball game, the comeback was well & truly on.
Ilkley were rattled & this told when there replacement prop dived in needlessly at a ruck to start a mass brawl which led to their hooker being sin binned. The next play from a tap penalty was headed up by ‘give me the ball first’ Hamer who smashed his way through 3 defenders, quick ball on the back of this led to Greg Roper finding James Krishnapillai in acres of space to score a great team try- 20-18 with the kick to come & Thompson made it look easy to level the game.
20-20 with 10 minutes to play, but the Brods weren’t quiet finished yet, they were making metres with every play, too fast & slick for the opposition – A penalty was inevitable & came from an illegal knock on from Ilkley- Thompson stepped up & landed the penalty to put the Brods in front for the first time. A few minutes later the same happened again & the Brods now had a 6 point cushion with only 2 minutes to play.
The Brods maintained possession for the final few minutes & earned their biggest win of the season so far, 3 games unbeaten & sitting 2nd in the league - not a bad start to life in the Premiership.
Standout performers in this 26-20 victory : Richard Stokes man of the match (3pts), Gareth Moger 2pts & Zak Thompson 1pt.
Tries: E Carter, J. Krishnapillai
Updated 19:06 - 25 Sep 2017 by Neil Sheard
Conv: Z. Thompson 2
Penalties: Z. Thompson 4.