BEVERLEY Under-18 Colts played out an entertaining friendly at Wetherby emerging with a 43-39 victory.
With second-place in their Yorkshire U18 Conference now a more likely result despite first still being mathematically possible, the Colts concentrated on warming up against strong competition for their Yorkshire Bowl Cup Final against Huddersfield on April 22.
The home side didn’t let them down with a determined start that meant the first try for Beverley by Mobo Abayomi came against the run of the play and it was no surprise when they drew level at 5-5 two minutes later.
The visitors were guilty of not supporting lone runners in the early stages but once corrected their free-flowing style of rugby across forwards and backs began to frustrate and then open up the opposition.
Big defensive hits from the likes of Rhys Innes, Charlie Fish, Ifan Downey, Alex Morris, Ben Fennell. Will Dobson and Alex Hodgkinson and huge runs from forwards Tom Jackson and Abayomi set a platform for a purple patch that saw four scintillating team tries in 14 minutes scored by Fennell, Tom Johnson and Theo Richardson (2), all converted by Hodgkinson.
Wetherby replied with a converted try before Johnson added his second. Hodgkinson was then given a yellow card for a high tackle as the half ended 38-12.
The home side kept the ball tight after the break, depriving the Beverley side of the amount of possession they had enjoyed in the first half.
Wetherby managed a converted try before Hodgkinson returned but the visitors then immediately lost flanker Charlie Fish to another yellow card for persistent team infringements while sternly defending their line.
The home side narrowed the gap to 38-27 before Richardson completed his hat-trick. Two more tries came for Wetherby as Beverley tired having travelled with no replacements but the visitors held out for a deserved win.
The Beverley lads also celebrated the return of hooker Matty Broughton who gave an excellent all-round display in his first game since suffering a serious knee injury at Pocklington in February 2016. Brilliant to see!