BEVERLEY RUFC Under-18 Colts found enough form to prove victorious in a three-team Yorkshire Bowl semi-final play-off against hosts Castleford and Malton on Sunday.
Malton were beaten 26-0 as the Beverley forwards rolled forward continuously to set up decent attacking platforms. The front row of Alex Morris, Charlie Fisher and Tom Jackson were dominant in the set piece and lively in the loose, supported well by the hard-working second row of Reg Fisher and Ben Fennel.
This allowed the back row of Liam Johnson, Rhys Innes and Keegan Foster space and time to create gaps and it was Innes who crossed for the first try, converted by Alex Hodgkinson. Will Dobson then raced through a narrow gap for the second, again converted by Hodgkinson.
Malton were never going to lie down – evident when they beat Castleford 7-0 in the first game - but their valiant efforts were thwarted time and again by tireless Beverley defence and it was from a Malton attack that Jack Gill intercepted to run 80 metres for a try. Hodgkinson added the extras. Joe Barrett, Hodgkinson, Brandon Leggett and Olly Mason all came close to crossing the line in moves prompted by scrum half Toby Redman before winger Jack Hancock forced his way over in the corner.
Castleford proved a more difficult opponent starting the fresher after 45 minute rest. Beverley looked ‘leggy’ and off the pace in the early stages and it was no surprise when the home side opened the scoring with a converted try.
Beverley spent the next 20 minutes on the back foot with only brief excursions forward through the likes of the hard running Foster and Leggett. However, the defence held firm with some strong tackles from Dobson, Hodgkinson, Johnson, Foster, Innes and Spencer Roberts and Barrett managed a late try as the visitors came back into the game. It was too late to change the result but having scored five tries to Castleford’s one, they reached the Yorkshire Bowl Final where they will meet Huddersfield later in the season.
The Colts start their league season next on October 8 with a trip to Malton.