Beverley faced a tough away trip to top of the table Moortown, who are not top of the table for no reason. To add to the occasion, Beverley still had a number of players missing through injury and unavailability and this was compounded by freezing, wet and dark weather conditions in West Yorkshire - even watching the game required us to dig deep!
So the odds were stacked against Beverley, and true to form, the top of the table team forced a galant and defiant Beverley effort into submission, running out winners 39-10 at the end of 70 minutes, the game being cut short from the normal 80 minutes by the referee, who recognised the atrocious conditions were not conducive to a good game of rugby, let alone the health and safety of everybody participating.
Early handling errors from Beverley and poor tackling gave 3 tries to Moortown within 14 minutes of the kick off, before a reply from Beverley with a try after a well-constructed forwards drive after a lineout, touched down by prop forward, Matty Brown. However a fourth try of the first half shortly after, took Moortown to 22-5 at half time and some wind out of the Beverley sails, if there was to be a miraculous fight-back.
The commencement of the second half saw more Moortown dominance as their strong and large back row and backs penetrated the Beverley defensive line. The tackling was there but often had to draw in more than one tackler, which in turn created gaps elsewhere, which the home team took advantage of and the result was determined on 47 minutes when Moortown went over for 5th try, 29-5.
However, the Beavers showed great heart and commitment and stuck to their challenge regardless, for which each player should be applauded. More often, when the Beavers did manage to get good field position, handling errors because of the driving freezing rain and poor light, took away the initiative. Moortown’s tactics of running hard through the Beverley line with big units, capitalised further and they scored two more tries. Beverley finished the afternoon with the final score of the game - a try to Jack Houseman who took advantage and initiative at the breakdown allowing him to power over quickly catching the home defence on the back foot for once.
The final score was 39-10. The conditions made the game extra challenging for both sides, but the top of the table team made the most of their dominance and deserved the result. Moortown were very hospitable and deserving of the five points. It was however, pleasiing to see the character of an under capacity Beverley team shining through regardless.
Matty Brown was man of the match for the Beavers and strong performances where shown by Alfie Hart-Fisher and Captain, Philip Duboulay. This is the last match of 2018.
Beverley will face many more challenges in the second half of the season, but are showing a unity and commitment to each other, which is testimony to the coach, Will Turnbull, and all of his supporting staff and each and every one of the players. Thank you also to each and every one of the supporters that made the horrible journey to West Yorkshire.
Next game is home to Pontefract on 5th January.
Thanks to Malcolm & John who normally write the match reports. I hope mine lives up to their standards.