BEVERLEY Under-14’s recovered from a sluggish start to run out 43-17 winners at Market Rasen in a game where the final score did not truly reflect the closeness of the contest.
Rasen dominated the opening exchanges with only covering tackles from Prescott and Carling preventing the opposition centre barrelling through for a try. The home intentions were clear and an unconverted try out wide was deserved reward for their efforts.
In hindsight, scoring so early may have been a mistake as the hock seemed to wake the Beverley side and especially the pack from their slumber. Skipper Hurst announced the fight back with a crunching tackle on a Rasen centre which saw the Beavers retrieve possession. The two sets of forwards battled it out but Beverley were using the wind to pin the home side back with a series of clever kicks from Prescott and it was a Carling try from inside his own half that drew the game level.
Beverley continued to execute the game plan of winning ball and kicking deep into the Rasen half. A couple of chances where missed but Carling got his second chasing a cross field kick which set up beautifully for him. The conversion was again missed. Beverley had edged ahead 10-5 but Rasen remained dangerous but with three minutes to the break calm handling saw winger Webb crossed close to the sticks and Prescott slotted the conversion to make it Beverley 17 Market Rasen 5.
The second half saw the sun disappear and the wind increase both in favour of Market Rasen and they came back hard through their strong running centres, time and again beating the first line of Beverley defence only to be brought down by some excellent covering work from full back Wilkinson. Eventually the Beverley defence gave out and the Rasen outside centre crossed for a well-deserved try.
The Beverley lead looked slim but the pack stunned the home side with a 25 yard rampage from loose head Hopson who then linked well with fellow front row Reid. The Beverley backs kept the ball in hand and eventually No8 Oliver Rodgers touched down under the sticks.
The home side came again with renewed aggression and again there centre partnership went through for a supporting back row forward to score against the left upright. The conversion was successful and the game seemed to be heading towards a home win.
From the restart Beverley concentrated on ball retention, with fly half Prescott setting off with his back line from his own 22. The handling was seamless into the wind and when the ball came to wing Carling his electric pace took play to within the Rasen 22. The recycled ball was spun the other way and the other wing Webb looked like he was in only to be brought down. It looked like a chance had gone until centre Max Cowey appeared and caught the offload at his ankles and crossed unopposed for an unconverted try.
The home side did not give up but made a tactical error of not continuing to kick for position. The Beverley back line clicked defensively and play remained in the Rasen half and, as the home side tired, the visitors managed two further tries by Rodgers and Cowey.