In a hard-fought contest, Beverley Under-15's gained a superb 18-5 victory at home to Ripon in the quarter final of the Yorkshire Cup at Beaver Park.
The game began with Ripon securing possession from their kick-off, gaining good field position and starting a series of route one drives from the forwards and the burly centres. Beverley defended this physical challenge head-on, especially the back row of Hirst, Knight and Eagle who gained dominance at the breakdown.
Beverley repelled challenge after challenge which was typified by scrum half Scanlan who drove a Ripon forward back in the tackle causing loss of possession and allowed Beverley to get territory in the Ripon half. Beverley were now able to play their own phases of play and the front row of Hopson, Reid and Spence punched holes in the Ripon defence and second rows Harding and Vaux tested the visitor's defensive capabilities.
Hopson powered over for the first try following a series of drives by the forwards. Ripon came straight back at Beverley and scored an equalising try when the Ripon number 8 picked-up from the base of the scrum and was allowed to run in from 40 yards following some missed tackles.
Beverley regained ascendancy up front and got good field position through a penalty and from the line-out Beverley went to the driving maul and were stopped just short of the line, the ball was recycled several times which allowed Hopson to crash over for his second try and give Beverley a 10-5 half time lead.
Ripon came out in the second half determined to wipe out Beverley’s lead, again using their strong runners, especially the number 12 to make yardage. Centres Wilkinson and Celella, winger Waite and fullback Foreman defended manfully but Ripon were getting into the Beverley 22.
Several last-ditch defensive plays exemplified the Beverley spirit, these included winger Carling stripping the ball off his opposite number on the Beverley try line and making 40 yards before being tackled; second row Vaux covering across the field to tackle the winger and prevent him from scoring in the corner and Vaux once again collecting a high kick in his own 22, producing a clearing kick and following up the kick to make the tackle on the half way line.
Beverley put some phases of play together and were able to get into the Ripon 22 and a penalty allowed Beverley kick the points through outside half Prescott and gain an 8-point advantage.
The home side were then able to play a territorial game with clever kicking from Prescott forcing Ripon back into their 22. With time ticking down, Ripon threw caution to the wind to try and get back in the game, a speculative pass in the backs allowed Prescott to intercept and run 60m to score.
This was a collective team effort from Beverley to reach the semi-finals of the Yorkshire Cup for the first time with excellent contributions from subs Bosworth, Poole, Edmiston and Ashley.
The semi-finals will be played against West Park Leeds at Beaver Park on a date to be confirmed.