BEVERLEY Under-18 Colts’ stuttering start to the season continued with a disappointing 22-17 defeat at Morley in the Yorkshire Plate first round.
The home side clinched a deserved win with a try in the final seconds but Beverley could have no regret as they failed to take advantage of a side starting with only 14 men and then being reduced to 13 for the last 10 minutes for a rash no arms tackle on winger Bailey Wood. The tackle left him concussed and with a badly bruised cheekbone and out for five weeks.
The visitors started well with prop Alex Morris driving forward as he did all game ably supported by Charlie Fish and Keegan Foster who both had good games. And they took the lead after three minutes when man of the match Charlie Rawlins joined the line from full back to collect a Liam Johnson pass and cross for a try. Adam Hewitson missed the conversion.
But Beverley failed to deal with sustained pressure from the excellent Morley forwards who created a converted try and as the visitors came second best in ruck and maul the home side notched a penalty and a 10-5 half-time lead.
Morley grabbed another try shortly after the break and Liam Johnson responded in kind for the visitors. However, despite a number of powerful runs from Brandon Leggett, Tom Jackson, Foster and Wood, Beverley managed only one more try from a mazy Rawlins run. He added the extras but with time running out and the scores level the gritty home side managed the late try for victory.
Beverley now find themselves in a three-way semi-final play-off on Sunday with hosts Castleford and Malton, the winners of which will reach the Yorkshire Bowl Final against the winners of Wetherby, Huddersfield and Cleckheaton.