A dry day with high cloud and a gentle breeze and a pitch in very good condition given the recent wet weather, bode well for the game between these old rivals, who last competed in a league fixture in 2005.
There is no commentary around the first 5 minutes of the game as the referee blew his whistle for the game to start “a few minutes” early. Unfortunately, the news did not filter to the spectators in the bar.
Early exchanges were dominated by good defensive play from both teams, with Beverley looking the slightly more dangerous and so after 6 minutes Beverley pressure forced Goole into infringing at a breakdown for not releasing. The penalty kick, 26 metres out, was converted by Duboulay off the inside of the post. (0 – 3)
Similarly, to last week’s game at Bradford, Beverley were struggling to find their rhythm and combined with a well organised Goole defence, the game was concentrated in midfield, between the 25metre lines with neither side looking likely to break the deadlock.
A raucous Goole crowd, bolstered by an old boy’s reunion, spotted a Beverley offside at a breakdown which the Notts, Lincs, Derby exchange referee duly awarded. The long penalty kick from Goole’s winger Beecher, slipped narrowly wide. (0 – 3)
Two minutes later, after 17 minutes a further penalty against Beverley for coming in at the side was awarded, and a hopeful long range shot from Beecher fell short and wide followed by an extensive period of midfield exchanges.
Not until the 32nd minute did either side look like breaking the deadlock. A powerful run by Beverley’s Callum Harvey, broke the Goole defence to send them scuttling backwards towards their own try line. The pressure took its toll, Beverley were awarded a penalty 20 meters out for not releasing and Duboulay comfortably dissected the posts with the kick. (0 – 6).
Any kind of momentum from Beverley resulted in Goole infringing and the referee was clearly losing patience with the slow play when on 37 minutes the Goole Number 7 Walker was pinged for not releasing and shown a yellow card for his troubles.
The resulting penalty taken from the 10-metre line fell short and sent the teams in at half time with the visitors leading 6 – 0. Beverley had probably edged the first half but it was a somewhat dower and uninspiring display and the game was far from won.
Goole kicked off the second half (so we can assume Beverley kicked off the first) with the same midfield exchanges until on 50 minutes a superb light footed and jinking run from Rob Smith followed by clever and clinical passing from Jacob Holmes and Charlie Rawlings, at last saw the effervescent style of rugby the travelling spectators were used to. The ball broke to Jack foster who continued the Beverley power play, making 20 metres, breaking tackles and carrying play deep into Goole’s 22.
Goole somehow survived, gradually working their way upfield towards the Beverley 22 metre line where the referee on 55 minutes, pinged Foster for not releasing, showed him yellow and awarded Goole the penalty. A quick tap and Goole were away, rapid passing right across the field and a long looping ball fell to Goole’s winger Beecher who crashed over in the corner (5 – 6).
The conversion from wide left, taken by the try scorer was missed to the left of the sticks. (5 – 6)
Almost from the kick off a scintillating break from Jacob Holmes took Beverley up to the Goole 22 forcing errors and penalty to Beverley for offside. Duboulay stepped up to the mark and stroked the ball over from 25 metres to restore a fragile Beverley lead. (5 – 9)
That was the end of the good news for Beverley, with injuries to talismen Isaac Keighley and Luke Hazel, Goole took the initiative and were showing a far greater appetite for the encounter and threatening Beverley’s narrow lead.
Goole powered forward and but for an unfortunate knock on would surely have doubled their try count. The resultant scrum saw Beverley pushed backwards with weakened resolve and Goole’s number 8 Taylor gratefully dropped over the line, ball in hand to give Goole the lead for the first time. (10- 9)
Beecher took a very kickable conversion but the ball drifted passed the left upright. (10 – 9)
And so, it finished. A disappointing and lacklustre display from Beverley in a game they would have hoped to win. Better things we hope to come next week in the home fixture against Selby.