A five point bonus win but not one of Beverley’s better performances. They got there in the end but it was heavy going and Wheatley will think themselves unlucky not to have gone away with at least a losing bonus point. Beverley struggled all afternoon to come to terms with the chunky Wheatley forwards who ran powerfully and proved difficult to bring down. Beverley did score four tries but three of them came from isolated bursts into enemy territory. In the end they won because they took their chances when they got them.
Beverley travelled across to Settle for their longest trip of the season to take on North Ribblesdale in this Yorkshire Div 1 match. They had a much changed side due to several injuries and unavailability’s (perhaps, due to the distance, mainly the latter!). Showing 8 changes, they took time to settle, but did keep up their custom of conceding a third minute penalty which the Ribblesdale No 10 duly converted to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.
Not a lot to say about this match as a lacklustre performance from a surprisingly low key Beverley side resulted in them being well beaten by an impressive looking Scarborough outfit. Principally, the difference between the sides on the day was that Scarborough’s defence was superb all match but Beverley’s was, uncharacteristically, poor.
Bradford Salem started this match in a manner which belied their lowly league position and Beverley were put under extreme pressure for the opening 10 minutes. The Bradford forwards were swarming all over them, albeit usually from suspiciously looking offside positions and Beverley were unable to escape from their own 22 and hold onto the ball for long. However, the Beaver’s defence was sound and, eventually they managed to settle down and string together some good moves.
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.