Beverley Under-14’s travelled to Sheffield expecting a tough game against a side that knocked them out of last year’s Yorkshire Cup. And they were not disappointed as they lost a nail-biting match 31-28.
The visitors started the game playing against the elements with the wind and slope proving to be decisive factors. The strong home pack dominated broken play putting the Beverley pack on the back foot at rucks and mauls and - dominating both territory and possession - it wasn’t long before they scored from a 5 metre penalty. A second try soon followed when the powerful Sheffield No8 collected the re-start and broke several tackles to score. Heroic tackling by Cowey, aided by Ashley, saved Beverley from having two further tries scored against them, but Sheffield broke through again and scored a third before half time leaving the score 17-0.
Beverley re-grouped at half time and the pack started to gain some control. However, the powerful Sheffield No8 again scored from distance leaving Beverley 22-0 down. Beverley’s character finally started to show through as the pack, led by captain Hirst, together with Dealtry-Todd, Bosworth and Vaux began to win the contact area. The front row also began to dominate the scrum through Hobson, Reid and Spence. From half way, Beverley No8 Rodgers followed Sheffield’s example by picking-up from the back of scrum to break through several tackles to score a try converted by Rial. With Beverley’s confidence rising, the team picked up the pace and again attacked through the forwards, marshalled by Scanlan at scrum half and with strong running in the backs by Webb, Wilkinson and Mackie. Beverley camped on Sheffield’s line with Hobson barging over from close in to bring Beverley back into the game.
At the re-start, missed tackles unfortunately allowed another Sheffield forward to score. However, this only brought further resilience from Beverley as Rodgers again scored with a robust run. With their tails up, Beverley went again at Sheffield with the forwards now dominating both open and set play. A good supply of ball allowed winger Carling to finally get the ball in space and showing his devastating turn of pace he sidestepped through to score from the half way line. Impeccable kicking from Rial brought the score to 31-28 with three minutes to play. Beverley collected the ball from the re-start and attacked Sheffield a final time. From open play Rodgers again went down the blindside and came within two metres of securing an improbable victory, but a knock-on in the tackle allowed Sheffield to close out the game. Credit should go to both sides for delivering an incredible game of rugby which was enjoyed by all the spectators.