Old Brodleians 38 Selby 5
By Ian Rushworth
BRODS were back at their irrepressible best to move a step nearer the Yorkshire One title. Nick Oâ€™Connorâ€™s side have coughed and spluttered since mid-season but overwhelmed a decent and determined Selby side with some great passing and support play to score six sparkling tries. Skipper Ollie Akroyd added four useful conversions in a fairly strong wind.
Bradford Salem and Bridlington also won handsomely at home but leaders Brods will not have to worry about the chasing pair if they perform at the same level at Skipton next week and in the home finale against York on April 18.
Teenage hooker Ben Morrill, who shrugged off tacklers in several bullocking runs and contributed well to some excellent set piece play, was the star man. But there were strong performances across the park from Brods, who can take great confidence from this display.
A Selby side playing against the slope but with the wind in the first half held their own for 25 minutes thanks to the heavy boot of ex-Cleckheaton stand off Chris Quinn and some powerful work from No 8 Wright Phillips.
However, Brods clicked into gear in devastating fashion with three tries in the last 15 minutes of the half.Winger Matt Hoyle cashed in on good work from No 8 Luke Scrimshaw and centre Gareth Standeven to score the opening try after bumping off a tackler near the touchline. Akroyd curled over the conversion but had no chance of adding the extras to tries from fullback James Marshall, after back rowers Akroyd and Ben Hoyle had combined to win turnover ball on the Selby 22, and Standeven following winger Aaron Fowlerâ€™s clever kick.
Leading 17-0 at the break, play was concentrated between half way and the Selby 22 up to the 56 minute mark. The home side then scored twice in the space of six minutes to clinch matters.
Adventurous play from Fowler was rewarded when a defender failed to make the ball safe in the in-goal area and centre Andy Clay pounced. Akroyd converted from near the touchline and his trusty left boot made it 31-0 after Matt Hoyle had scorched in for his second.
Prop Dave Christianson belatedly got the visitors on the scoreboard with four minutes left from their only opportunity but Ben Hoyle had the last word with some classic support play after Scrimshaw and Standeven had tormented the visiting defence.
Home player-coach Oâ€™Connor, one of several players absent through injury, said: â€œIâ€™m a lot happier after that performance - we were unstoppable at times.
â€œBut I think it will go down to the wire.â€