BEVERLEY U18 COLTS lost their unbeaten Yorkshire League record when they were narrowly undone 19-15 at home to Pocklington on Sunday.
Having drawn 12-12 in the Yorkshire Cup first round on the opening day of the season and with near identical league records, it was always going to be close and so it proved to be in a game more affected by the strong wind than the number of regular starters missing on both sides.
Beverley won the toss and elected to play with the wind but it was the visitors who adapted faster to the elements, keeping possession as their well-drilled forwards completed multiple phases. Their efforts were rewarded with an unconverted try after nine minutes.
Both sets of forwards were enjoying the arm wrestle and driving runs from Keegan Foster and Tom Jackson were putting Beverley on the front foot. The pressure though was sporadic and – despite another good performance from scrum half Toby Redman - the ball to the backs was slow and the home side were guilty of trying too much ‘rugby’ in their own 22. Thumping tackles from Foster, Redman, Spencer Roberts, Theo Richardson, Mobo Abayomi and Alex Hodgkinson kept it honest and prop Alex Morris remained alert to make the most of a rare chance to level the scores in the 22nd minute.
Sadly, the home team were caught napping from the restart and Pocklington romped though for a converted try and a 12-5 half-time lead.
Beverley were forced into a quick reshuffle at the break when centres Theo Richardson (head) and Alex Hodgkinson (shoulder) left the field with Brandon Leggett and Bailey Wood switching from full-back and wing respectively to fill the positions and it was Leggett who popped up on the end of a forwards push to make it 12-10. Prop Olly Mason was back after injury and making hard yards with Morris and Reg Fisher as the home side now also played better against the wind but the visitors broke away for a converted try and 19-10.
However, a quick tap and quick thinking by Ifan Downey led to Ben Fennell charging over for another unconverted Beverley try but despite a frantic last five minutes a winning score proved just beyond them. The losing bonus point could come in useful.