Report by Richard Turner
Brods struggled to find the form of last weeks fine home performance on their latest trip to the North East. Despite dominating long periods of play in terms of territory and possession the Woodhead men could not break down the home defence and were frustrated by their inability to sustain phases of rugby without unforced errors .
Durham took an early lead with a penalty goal from scrum half Lewis Groves following Brods infringing offside and after eight minutes play struggled in a scrimmage near their own line . With the ball squirting free from the scrum Brods defenders were caught out of position and open side wing forward Hand dived on the loose ball to extend the home sides lead to eight points.. Brods responded with good driving play from the pack led by Scrimshaw and from a position deep in the Durham 22 the ball was moved swiftly left and debutant Tom Booth took the ball at pace on a superb line splitting the defence to register an excellent try duly converted by Akroyd , Brods maintained their territorial advantage with Armitage linking well with Marshall and with Hanson carrying well Brods maintained the pressure but could not convert into points.
Durham came back to press again and with a good move in midfield on the stroke of half time cente Morton linked well with flyhalf Blair to score under the posts . The halftime score 15-7 .
Both sides kicking from hand wasted possesion and unforced errors littered the game. Eventually one such kick out of defence was taken on the full by fullback Rob Smith who showed great skill in chipping the defence and regathering cleanly , his pass to supporting flanker was taken and returned for Smith to score an excellent try. The conversion was taken and the lead extended to 22-7, the home sides confidence visibly grew and it looked as though the score could be extended further however this young Brods side is made of sterner stuff and they responded positively. With a redoubling of effort and the introduction of Andy Clay Brods once more threatened and indeed Clay broke the line to put Marshall in the clear and a score in the corner. The ever reliable Akroyd stepped up to convert from the touchline and pull back the scoreline to 22-14, the score rejuvenated what had looked to be tiring Brods side and once more the visitors took the game to their hosts earning a penalty which Akroyd converted and put the Woodhead men at least in bonus point territory. Despite Brods further efforts Durham played out time and secured a vital win for themselves to keep them clear of the relegation battle.