POCKLINGTON always provide a good test for the Beavers in even, competitive contests and Sunday proved to be no different as Beverley’s U15s returned home with a fine 26-21 win collected in the final minutes.
The pitch conditions were good but unsurprisingly it was raining as both sides struggled to show their finest skills with a number of handling errors restricting the flow of the game.
Pocklington controlled both possession and territory for most of the first half as the visitors were stretched covering the gaps particularly in the back row caused by the absence of five boys finishing the rugby league season strongly playing at representative level in Hull. The re-organised 16 players did a sterling job in defence however, the home side being unable to find their way through the green ranks in the first ten minutes before a typical moment of brilliance from James Couttie. Henry Radcliffe had tidied up loose ball and with the play broken the ball found its way to wing Henry Fenn who released full back Couttie deep in his own 22. Given space, the distance from the line is irrelevant to James as he rounded two defenders before standing up the covering full back to complete a comfortable trot under the posts. 0-7.
After a further ten minutes of pressure from the home side Pocklington finally fashioned a decisive chance to level the scores five minutes before half time only to then swiftly take the lead as they made a clean break from the resultant kick off. No one could argue on the balance of play they were not worthy of their 14-7 half time lead.
Not learning the lessons from the first half however, the hosts were to err in judgement early in the second half, kicking the ball to Couttie in space. He didn’t cover the pitch alone this time but the decisive break was quickly re-cycled to allow Ben Lazenby to maraud through what was left of the defence to score under the posts.
Fired up the hosts came straight back. Pocklington thought they scored only to be denied by a forward pass. Undeterred they shoved Beverley’s defensive scrum causing chaos as the ball shot out the back with the visitors eight in full retreat allowing the surging masses to swamp the Beverley defence and touchdown.
That Beverley were still in the match through all this pressure was a testament to their defence led by skipper and man of the match Sam Bayes who had erected a no entry side through the visitors midfield at inside centre. As the second half evened out Sam was able to also show his creative skills releasing runners outside with an array of well timed passes and it was off a neat blind side move that Henry Fenn was set free to reduce the arrears to 21-19.
What seems to be a customary brace of tries for Fenn was completed with three minutes remaining when simple hands down the line gave him the opportunity to round his man and come back inside enough for Bayes to convert for a crucial five point lead at 21-26.
The hosts hauled themselves into a last attack but with a lead to protect the visitors did not yield to complete a hard fought victory. Pocklington may wonder how they hadn’t created more but congratulations to Beverley for their excellent defence and flashes of brilliance in attack.