Report written by Richard Turner
Brods produced one of their best performances of the season with a display of quality and commitment in conditions which their young side relished.
The Morpeth grounds were bathed in sunshine and Brods chose to play against a cooling breeze in the first half and it was the home side who took the early advantage following some early errors by the visitors. Morpeth put the first points on the board following an offside call , the penalty goal being converted by centre Matty Jinks . Within minutes Morpeth had extended their lead to 10 points following indecision in the Brods defence due to the referee’s apparent misjudgement of advantage . The try was given and Brods appeared to still be on the bus following their 3 hour journey up the A1.
As Ian Armitage’s young side refocused following their wake up call and referred back to their game plan they began to show their quality. After 25 minutes the ever dangerous Rob Jennings broke the line following an excellent inside pass by Luke Scrimshaw, his powerful charge was well supported by Andy Finn who linked with pacy wingman Matty Hoyle and the move was finished in the corner. From the restart Brods were quickly back into their stride and from Jack Moon’s pass Louis Butler made great ground down the left wing, the young winger beat several defenders before releasing the ever reliable Andy Finn who was again in support to receive the ball and finish the move in clinical style. The try was converted from the touchline by Oliver Akroyd and Brods took the lead and control of the game. Brods dominated possession against a spirited home side however the Morpeth could not live with the pace of the game which Brods now began to control. Offered several opportunities to extend the lead through penalty goals the visitors declined preferring to increase the pressure territorially on their hosts. Morpeth’s scrambling defence was working overtime and was succesfull in defending their line. On the stroke of half time Morpeth’s tired legs were caught off side and Oliver Akroyd stepped up to claims 3 points and extend the lead to 15-10.
From the restart Brods immediately took the game back to their hosts, increasing the pace of the game once more playing the ball quickly at tap penalties Moon fed front row forwards Skinner and Parkin who troubled the Morpeth defence with the strength of their drives. Brods were camped in their hosts 22 , Tom Hanson went close and from a five yard scrum Jennings drove strongly for the line, Andy Finn was in support and from close quarters restled the ball free and over the line. The try was converted once more from the touchline however Jennings had to leave the field with a painful ankle injury, Luke Brocklehurst entered the field play and was immediately involved from the kick off and Brods once more carried the game to their opponents. Scott at 10 and Booth at 15 were kicking well and took their opportunities to take good yards and camp once more in the home 22. Hotham and Clay were solid in both attack and defence . From a good position in the Morpeth half Brods were under pressure in a scrum however Scrimshaw picked up at the base and linked with Dave Skinner who drove again at the home defence before slipping a superb pass to Mathew Hoyle who flew in at the corner to claim his second try of the game in fine fashion. Akroyd continued in his rich vein of form with another superb conversion from the touchline. Score 29-10.
Brods continued to dominate and the prop forwards Skinner and Parkin combined once more close to the Morpeth line winning the arm wrestle with their opponents, Scott Parkin used his strength to pirouette over the try line from close quarters. Jack Moon was growing in confidence playing out of position at scrum half and was clearly enjoying himself as Brods continued to run the ball freely. Parkin left the field with a recurrence of an arm injury and Kyle Millward made his usual energetic contribution as Brods moved through the phases hammering at the Morpeth line eventually Luke Scrimshaw took the crucial pass and scored under the posts. All credit to Morpeth in that they continued to compete whilst under severe pressure and indeed when the opportunity arose they formed a driving maul and used their weight advantage to score near the posts with the conversion taken the score was 17-41. Brods superior fitness and athleticism were in evidence throughout the game, the gameplan was simple and carried out to great effect and coach Amitage was pleased with some outstanding individual performances as well as the overall team effort. Akroyd claimed a further three points through his reliable boot to extend the final score to 44-17.
Brods players and large band of supporters enjoyed their day in the sun and the final away game of the season, with two home games remaining there is every chance that the Hipperholme side could secure a top four place in this highly competitive league. Brods are at home to Northern next week KO 3.00pm
The second team continued their fine season with an 8-8 draw away at Otley which places them third in the Yorkshire Premier league.