BEVERLEY Under-18 Colts suffered a desperately disappointing 22-20 defeat at Scunthorpe that leaves their title aspirations now hanging by a thread.
Having dominated the first half to lead 20-12 at half-time, a switch of pitch due to an injury to a home player saw a change of fortunes and a late winning try for their Yorkshire Conference rivals that seemed short of the line. It was the second such frustration in consecutive games and left the players bemused by their sudden run of ill-luck.
Both teams had set off at a frantic pace in a match where no quarter was asked or given throughout and it was Scunthorpe who took the lead with a converted try that sadly saw Theo Richardson leave the field with a hip injury after hitting a post trying to prevent the score.
The visitors took heed of the warning and upped their physical intensity. The front row of Alex Morris, Spencer Roberts and Tom Jackson were fierce in set piece and loose with the second row of Ifan Downey and Rhys Innes hitting hard and exploiting gaps to keep the visitors on the front foot. Scrum half Toby Redman was finding quick ball to fly half Will Dobson and centres Alex Hodgkinson and Bailey Wood were destructive in the tackle and dangerous in attack supported superbly by the hard-running Keegan Foster and free-running Charlie Rawlins.
A lovely move between forwards and backs saw Innes romp home under the posts and Hodgkinson convert. Flankers Mobo Abayomi and Charlie Fish were linking backs and forwards superbly and winger Joe Barrett then raced away for another try in the corner and Hodgkinson added a penalty. Replacement Ben Fennell then crashed over for an unconverted try before Scunthorpe managed a similar score to remind the visitors it was still game on.
Neither side managed to add to their score early in the second half before an injury led to a pitch move – the player later released from hospital having been given the OK. Scunthorpe adapted the quicker and reduced the arrears to 20-17. The visitors defended heroically with try saving tackles from Adam Carpenter, Roberts and Downey but the referee allowed the home side wave after wave of attacks before they finally went ahead from the disputed try.
There was still time for a late flurry from the visitors prompted by Dobson and winger Jack Gill, Fennell, Hodgkinson and Morris all threatened the line but to no avail.