BEVERLEY Under-15's started their 2019/20 season on a beautiful morning at Beaver Park with a 29-18 victory over Old Rishworthians from Halifax. With not all the squad available it was an excellent performance by the 16 members of the home team to overcome not only the strong determined visitors but the physically demanding conditions.
Debutant Ben Lazenby immediately made his presence felt from number eight producing a storming run from the halfway line catching the opposition unawares to open the scoring with a try in the first three minutes.
Early season rust could also be found in the home side defence as the visitors quickly responded with a neat blind side move to close to 7-5 before taking the lead through a well worked loop move in the backs creating the extra man to go over in the corner for 7-10.
The entertaining, see-saw first half continued as control up front flipped from one side to the other producing chances at either end of the pitch. Henry Fenn had a good morning in both attack and defence, making four try saving tackles over the course of the match and taking the first of his brace of tries with aplomb as he caught the ball high above his head before finishing in the corner to retake the lead for the home side 12-10.
The try had initially been made by the lively Tom Roberts, who had driven the ball into the heart of the Rishworthian defence. Five minutes later Roberts thought he had a try of his own with another drive through the midfield - unable to stop him the visitors used Toms momentum to carry him over the dead ball line. Frustration seemed to wind the human dynamo up to even greater levels of exertion as part of the outstanding backrow with Lazenby and Beau English, who collectively took the man of the match award for driving the team both in attack and defence.
A Rishworthian penalty had retaken the lead for the visitors before Fenn and Lazenby both collected their second tries moments before half time to give a two score cushion of 22-13 at half time.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, fiercely competitive with momentum switching between the two sides. Beverley’s defence was tested for long periods though only yielded once thanks to the home sides commitment and tenacity.
Special mention must go to hooker Tom Cracknell who quickly found his form in the set piece stealing four balls against the head in the scrum to thwart the visitors attacking aspirations. One try a piece including a third for Lazenby to mark a memorable first outing left the final score 29-18.