Beverley Under-15’s stunned Hull Ionians with a confident display of expansive rugby to run out 52-19 winners.
Ionians were under-strength and the game was reduced to 13-a-side but in an exciting opening, prop Oliver Lazenby crossed for a try after two minutes. Fly half and man of the match Tom Barnard converted but hooker Alex Crockett limped off with an ankle injury sustained in the move. One minute later, Ionians were level with a converted try but it wasn’t long before the home side were ahead again courtesy of Ben Walker and another Barnard conversion.
The game settled down but Beverley always had the edge gaining great possession at the rucks. Centres Alex Nuttall and Nathan Cullen were tested the Ionians defence and it was Cullen who crossed for Beverley’s third try, again converted by Barnard and a 21-7 half-time lead.
Beverley reorganised their backs after the break but, from the start the pressure was maintained and Josh Dillon went over. Ionians appeared slightly demoralised and, as the Beverley forwards kept up their fast-pace, Lazenby crashed over for his second with Barnard notching the extra points. Barnard then exploited the gaps appearing in a tiring Ionians back line to run in a hat trick of unanswered tries (two of which he converted) in just a five minute passage of scintillating play.
With a six-score cushion and only 10 minutes left to play, Beverley began to relax their grip on the game allowing Ionians to score a couple of consolation tries, one of which was converted. Special thanks to those Beverley players – Tom Haylock, Ed Ling and Oliver Jenner – who pulled on an Ionians shirt to help them out.