The blue and golds took full advantage of 1st and 2nd placed Three Tuns and Bilton Sully’s being in cup action at the weekend.
This latest victory by Beverley sees them leapfrog these two sides to go top of the table. This game saw a number of absentees such as Craig Morfitt, Louis Poskitt, Rich Etherington, Daryl Gregory and Steve Davidson all missing with a combination of injuries and work commitments. Furthermore, Ryan Watkin broke down in the warm up and had to be replaced by Gavin Platt.
Billy Riby was drafted in at scrum half, and a debut was handed to another returning ex-Beverley Brave, Alex Nightingale on the wing. Furthermore, Jake Hart-Fisher returned to the starting lineup and Dan Clarke, Lee Stevens and Callum O’Connor got their chance on the bench. The match was very much a demonstration of the depth of Pat Howdle’s squad.
After a very even first ten minutes with both defences on top the home side took the lead with a converted try resulting from a penalty and subsequent set of six. Five minutes later, the visitors were on level terms after Steve Connolly’s strong run saw him pulled up just short.
The ball was quickly shipped to the right flank for Alex Nightingale to score a debut try. Glen Anfield converted. Dan Clarke put Beverley in the lead shortly after crossing for a try following astute handling. Anfield again converting. Then the try of the match followed featuring impressive handling by Jack Howdle and Louis Hubbard, who combined to send Ben Calvert over for an unconverted score.
Beverley continued to turn the screw leading up to the interval, and a deft kick into the very large in-goal area saw Billy Riby pounce to score and Anfield to add the extras. Beverley were 22-6 to the good at the break.
The early moments of the second half saw the visitors attempt to finish their opponents off. Lee Falcus went over but was pulled back for a forward pass.
After then Beverley appeared to go off the boil. The home side got right back in the game with two tries to peg the scores back to 22-16. The visitors also had Jack Howdle sent to the sin-bin for ten minutes for talking back to the referee midway through the second half. Things looked a little rocky for Beverley, but they recovered their composure to cut loose in the final ten minutes.
Anfield went over after some sustained pressure. This was quickly followed by sweet handling to the left which sent Jake Hart-Fisher on a spectacular 50 meter run to the line. The handling got ever more fluent and Steve Connolly got on the end of such a movement to score. Adam Robson then finally capped off a fine performance with the final try.
This Saturday Beverley are at home to Bilton Sully’s in what is expected to be a far tougher test. Bilton have significantly strengthened this season picking up a few players from East Hull who dropped out of the National Conference.
Pat Howdle will again have a few selection headaches as some players return. It promises to be an intriguing clash and indeed an entertaining one at the Beverley Leisure Centre on Saturday kicking off at 2pm.
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