Miserable, cold, windy and wet conditions led inevitably to a game littered with mistakes and infringements and an afternoon to forget. It has to be said that both sides endeavoured to put on a show but matters were not helped by the referee who must have been breathless by the end, judging by the amount of breath he expended blowing his whistle! Never the less he was there, and the conditions were, no doubt, just as unpleasant for him.
Beverley kicked off on a wet and blustery afternoon at Beaver Park and immediately mounted an assault on the Keighley line but, largely due to determined defence by Keighley, were unable to capitalise on their possession of the ball in the early exchanges. In fact during this early period Keighley were unable to hang on to the ball for long enough to get out of their own half.
This was more like it. Not a great performance by any means but vastly improved from the dismal showing of the previous week and in the end a comfortable bonus point win. In truth as a spectacle this was a pretty drab affair with not much running rugby and a relentless stream of penalties being awarded throughout. The return of skipper Phil Duboulay was welcome and this contributed to Beverley looking the more polished side. The final score was probably a fair reflection of the overall play.
Pray let it be a long time before we endure another afternoon like this. This was a truly awful game. There was plenty of huffing and puffing and it was all played in a good spirit but the quality hardly ever rose above the mediocre. What little constructive rugby there was came from Hullensians who fully deserved their comfortable victory. Beverley today were totally unrecognisable from the side that had hitherto performed so well this season. They were without their influential skipper Phil Duboulay and it showed. Without his commanding presence they lacked any ideas or cohesion until young Jacob Holmes came off the bench in the second half.
It took Beverley a quarter of an hour to get out of their own half for the first time. When at last two penalties did get them up to the Hullensians’ 22 they promptly fell behind. Hullensians counter attacked and wing Josh Langford gathered up a cleverly angled kick to race over. Langford with his exceptional speed was a constant problem for Beverley all afternoon. After 25 minutes he was put clear down the left from a scrum on halfway and easily outpaced the home defence to touch down under the posts for a second try. Full back Bobby Marrow added the conversion and Hullensians were now two scores ahead at 12-0.
Beverley were defending pretty well, none more so than Steve Wiggill who put in some big hits in the centre, but they could produce little in the way of attacking rugby and seldom looked like scoring. Isaac Keighley at number 8 foraged courageously but there was little cohesive action. Hullensians were doing almost all the attacking and five minutes before halftime increased their lead with a somewhat bizarre try when scrum half Chris Smith picked up the ball from a Beverley scrum five metres out and strolled over unopposed. They then very nearly had another when Langford was again racing to the line only to be brought back for a marginally forward pass.
Beverley came under pressure immediately after losing the kick-off and Rishworthians camped in Beverley’s 22. After 9 minutes they were awarded the inevitable penalty and Josh Kelly made the score 3-0 to the home side.
This was a hard fought, scrappy affair with Beverley, for the second week running fielding a very young side. Once again the youngsters performed very well against the experienced Middlesbrough side but unfortunately lost left winger Alex Hodgkinson with a nasty looking head and shoulder injury after only 5 minutes. He was replaced by Jack Howdle.
Conditions were perfect for this season’s opener between York and Beverley at Clifton Park and what a cracking match this turned out to be. York opened the scoring after 5 minutes with a penalty from in front of the Beverley posts but a Phil Duboulay penalty levelled for Beverley after 13 minutes to make it 3-3.
Beverley RUFC travelled to Leeds on Saturday and were able to record their 11th victory in their last 13 matches, this despite the disruption of arriving half an hour late due to the team coach breaking down on the journey. This meant that the pre match warm up needed to be curtailed but nevertheless they started brightly and after 8 minutes Jack Garvin raced in for an excellent try on the right wing which Phil Duboulay converted to give them a 7 point lead.
Bridlington ran out winners in this entertaining encounter at Dukes Park by 37 points to 28 and cemented their promotion hopes by doing so but Beverley fought every inch of the way and earned a pleasing bonus point by scoring four tries.