BEVERLEY RUFC Under-16's travelled to Aireborough with a weakened side falling to a narrow 20-12 defeat in the quarter finals of the Yorkshire Cup Bowl competition .
The squad only had six forwards with scrum halves James Ashley and Oliver Scanlan making up the numbers. Beverley started the game poorly getting in front of the kicker from the start and then giving away a penalty to find themselves in their own 22 with a line out for the much bigger Aireborough pack. A lineout move led to the first try for Aireborough which was unconverted.
Things got worse for Beverley when a series of knock-ons that led to scrums where the larger home pack had a clear advantage, starving the Beverley backs of decent ball. Beverley eventually gained some parity which was started by the front row of Harry Spence, Marcus Reid and Ezzen Farooq where technique started to get the ascendency in the scrum.
Will Poole was competing in the line-out and Tom Hirst, Oliver Scanlan and Oliver Eagle were now causing damage in the loose and centres Liam Foreman and Max Cowey blunting the Aireborough backs. This led to a try for Oliver Eagle who scored from a pick-up from the back of a scrum. The conversion was missed to leave the scores level at 5-5.
Beverley continued to compete but the Aireborough backs broke through some tackles and an offload put the winger free to score under the posts to make the half-time score 12-5.
Beverley had the conditions in their favour for the second half and a much more even contest developed, with again credit to the forwards who were putting in a shift against the larger pack who were able to swap in subs, a luxury Beverley didn’t have.
Eventually the forwards started to tire and the home side took advantage with a series of rucks which again led to a forwards try in front of the posts.. Beverley again responded and started to use their backs , George Waite, Vinny Jeyendran, Elliott King and debutant Malachy McHale marshalled by half backs, Danny Prescott, and Alfie Celella.
Beverley went through several phases of play, using forwards and backs and released McHale down the short side but just as he was about to score, an illegal high tackle lead to a penalty try for Beverley to make the score 17-12 with only 10 minutes remaining.
Beverley tried in vain to get some territory but Aireborough played in the Beverley half and a penalty moved the lead out to two scores.
Beverley attacked again and had one final chance to score but a knock on allowed Aireborough to clear their lines and win the game.
A disappointing result for Beverley as they had high hopes in this competition, however, a promising debut from McHale bodes well for the future.