Report and dodgy headline by Richard Turner
Ian Mallard sealed a fine win on his debut for the 1st team with a well worked try in the minute. Mallard has been knocking on the door of the premier side for some time, performing consistently well in a number of positions He is yet another example of Brods production line of young talent and with no less than four scrum halves injured or unavailable Mallard made his claim for a regular spot with an excellent performance. His try was well worked, following a period of intense pressure on the Hartlepool line the young scrum half split the defence using back row forward and captain for the day Hoyle as a pivot to score between the posts.
The game opened brightly for Brods on a gluepot of a pitch with Nick O’ Connor and Liam Scott combining well with good kicking to secure field position and early control of the game. After 12 minutes play the referee missed a high tackle on Thompson however gave a penalty to Brods when the defender handle the ball in the ruck. Hoyle stepped forward to convert fro 40 metres and provide a 3-0 lead. Brods lost their territorial advantage due to repeated offences for off side, Brods centre Hotham was shown a yellow card but Hartlepool fly-half Sainty failed to take advantage with a poor effort at goal. A further penalty was conceded in kicking range however Sainty again missed badly. With Hotham still off the field Brods were defending their line desperately and could not escape from their own half. Mclaughlin was penalised with a yellow card and with Brods down to 13 men a further two kickable penalties were conceded but no points registered. The referee was not popular with the large band of supporters from Hipperholme with a disproportionate penalty count against the Woodhead men however the team survived to half time.
Coach Armitage stressed the importance of discipline in defence at the break and faced an immediate onslaught from the home side in the second period, having a full side back on the park Brods needed every man to defend the line, Hartlepools battering ram approach was defended well however when they finally moved the ball wide to the right winger in the 47th minute Lilley took advantage to score in the corner. Much to the players surprise Mathew Hoyle was yellow carded after the try was scored and the visitors were back to 14 men. Scrimshaw replaced the hard working Matt Willis and the pack was shuffled with Akroyd moving into the second row. With improved discipline Brods took the game to Rovers with some sound tactical kicking for position through O’ Connor and Scott.
The visitors camped in the home side 22 and from a scrummage Hartlepool were themselves penalised for offside and Akroyd stepped forward to bag three points to take the lead.Rovers were reduced to 14 men following the infringement and now for the first time in the match with a numerical advantage Brods stepped up a gear. After 25 minutes of the second half Brods drove strongly from a line out through the back row and with Scrimshaw taking the ball up strongly followed up by a another powerful burst by Skinner to the posts Brods put themselves in a great position to attack, the ruck was won cleanly and with quick ball Scott was able to finish in magnificent fashion on the left. The conversion was successful and Brods immediately took the game back to their hosts from the restart and Brocklehurst was unlucky not to be rewarded for a strong drive to the line on the right. The pressure continued and Brods superior fitness and play was rewarded with Mallards try.
Brods superiority was confirmed when another Rovers player was yellow carded for handling out of the ruck and Matty Hoyle stepped forward to take advantage with a penalty goal from 40 metres The final score of 19-5 was reward for a good performance in difficult conditions.
Brods are increasingly looking like a top six side and considering that on Saturday they had 19 players unavailable through injury they were still able to field a competitive strong second string who put up a good performance against reigning champions Upper Wharfedale in the Yorkshire second team premiership.
The Brods Beavers secured a good home win over Ossett 2nd XV 34-22 with a try hat trick of tries for centre Paul Turner !
The first XV now look forward to a mighty contest next week with close rivals and neighbours Cleckheaton KO 3.00 pm.