It was Derby Day at Beaver Park on Sunday as local rivals Driffield came seeking to avenge their Yorkshire Plate Final defeat at the hands of Beverley last season. Unfortunately, the two closely matched sides from that contest late last spring appear to have diverged as Beverley romped home scoring 11 tries in a comfortable 67-10 victory.
Conditions were bleak both underfoot and in the air as the overnight rain continued to pour down making free flowing rugby nigh on impossible. Dropped passes were to be expected and it was the visitors who were first to capitalise on Beverley errors as they collected loose ball and managed it effectively to march down the pitch through a series of phases and open the scoring.
Stung into action, Henry Fenn soon levelled the scores after good work from Ben Lazenby and Sam Dulson. It was to be a further 50 Beverley points later, deep into the second half before Driffield were to score again as the Beavers showed a pleasing capacity to use their heads and manage the game in the right areas of the pitch with the least possible risk.
None of last week’s aggressive line breaks from fly half Louix Gorman as he adapted his game excellently sitting back in his armchair in the pocket directing proceedings with his well aimed boot. “Chase that” he may well have shouted as he launched numerous cross field kicks for his back line to follow – and chase they did - two tries for full back Brad Cook and one for winger Louix Whitley justifying the tactic. An exquisite grubber kick for one of skipper Sam Bayes’ brace of tries showed subtlety as well as brawn.
It was however, a day made for the forwards as they controlled the battle up front, pack leader and man of the match Dulson added another excellent display to his season of hits; a try the least he deserved as he and the other chief ball carriers Tom Roberts (2), Lazenby and Beau English all got on the scoreboard.
The platform for their dominance was made however, by the unsung heroes of the team – those who often spend most of the match looking down not up, noses in the mud clearing the path for the team’s more expansive runners. Congratulations then to Theo Cammack for tidying up numerous loose balls; Henry Welpton for his surging bursts and Josh Willans for clearing out the breakdown and looking after his team mates.
31-5 at half time, 67-10 at full time, a very impressive all round performance from the Beavers in less than impressive conditions.