Old Brodleians 45 Hartlepool Rovers RFC 22
Report by Richard Turner
Brods bagged four more points in their quest for a top six finish with an excellent second half display in which Luke Scrimshaw scored four tries.
Brods played up hill in the first half, assisted by a strong breeze to theirs backs which young full back Tom Booth took advantage of early doors with some excellent line kicking giving Brods territorial advantage. From a good position in the visitors 22 Liam Scott dummied and made a good break before feeding Richard Holbrough who escaped the clutches of several attempted tackles to score under the posts and with Akroyd converting Brods had a 7-0 lead after just10 minutes play. Rovers responded well and took the game to their hosts with their powerful forwards driving hard on the fringes of the ruck and forcing Brods to defend strongly against their heavier opponents. With decisions going their way Hartlepool enjoyed good territorial position and when Tom Hanson infringed in the ruck and received a yellow card for his pains they took advantage with a penalty goal converted by fly half Sugden..
Rovers continued to play well and after 30 minutes winger Waddington showed great pace to evade several attempted tackes and register a try to the right of the posts, the try was converted and the visitors held the lead 7-10 after 30 minutes play. Brods appeared to lose their composure and with some wild passing could not retain possession. Rovers however were clearly increasing in confidence and Rovers centre evaded several poor attempts to tackle him as he stormed over in a 25 metre charge to the line. The try was not converted however with a 15-7 lead approaching half time Brods needed to reassert themselves and this they did when awarded a penalty Booth kicked to touch and with the lineout taken and set the Brods pack drove forward , when the ball was released Armitage’s grubber kick to the line was picked up by Scott who touched down and a half time score of 12-15 in favour of the visitors.
Following the recurrence of a shoulder injury to scrum half Joe Armitage Jack DD Martin entered the field of play for his debut at centre, Martin is the latest product from the Brods production line to be given his opportunity in the first XV following some outstanding performances for the colts and the second teams . The Brods coach had some harsh words for the Woodhead men at the break and with the message ringing in their ears to control the ball and tighten up defence Brods set about their task with gusto.
In form winger Marshall’s pacy break took play deep into the Rovers half and from an infringement in the resulting ruck Brods kicked to touch to set up a position close to the visitor’s line. Brods were dominating the lineout and with another quality catch and take the Brods well drilled pack drove to and over the line with Scrimshaw emerging with ball held aloft after scoring . Akroyd converted superbly from near the touchline to restore the lead for the home side at 19-15. The home side quickly followed up this score with great interplay between forwards and backs and hooker Jennings, whose strong running was a feature of the game, slipped a superb pass out of the tackle to the supporting Scrimshaw who strode out to register his second try. Akroyd produce another excellent conversion to stretch the lead to 26-15. Brods were now dominant in all areas and even when down to 14 men due to a yellow card awarded to Andy Clay Brods had too much pace for the tiring Hartlepool forwards.
Scrimshaw bagged his hat trick again through good support play and with Akroyd again converting the Brods were in complete control. Following the restart Brods stormed back down the field and from a great position in centre field young prop Luke Brocklehurst showed great pace to beat several defenders on his way to the line and with Akroyd once more adding the extras Brods hit 40 points. All credit to the Hartlepool Rovers players as they fought there way back upfield and their strong running centre ran in his second try of the afternoon following good forward play by the visiting pack.
With the clock ticking Brods were now rampant and from another good position in the visitors 22 Jennings produced a superb pass to put that man Scrimshaw with a clear run to the line and his fourth try of the afternoon.
Brods were satisfied with the second half performance however must play for the full eighty minutes if they are to continue their great progress made this season.
Brods seconds enjoyed a great success away to Sandal to maintain their good position in the premier league for second teams in Yorkshire.