This was the final leg of a series of very tough pre-season friendlies which the Taylor,Howdle and O’Connor had organised, and on the surface of it they will take plenty of positives against NCL 1 opposition.
This was another entertaining warm up for the season with no shortage of passion but played in a generally good spirit.
Dockers from East Hull were on top in the early exchanges and some resolute defending was required by the hosts to keep their line in tact. Indeed Beverley were reduced to 12 men when Lewis Poskitt was sent to the sin-bin for ten minutes for false calling of the ball which was termed ungentlemanly conduct.
However, as the hosts grew into the game, a break by Jack Howdle fed Alex Calvert who in turn fed the returning Ben Naylor who went on a typically mazy run. Naylor was pulled up short but in the next set Jack Howdle took on the visitors defence to give Beverley the lead. The conversion was missed and a mix up from the re-start kick saw the visitors reply instantly courtesy of Dan Suddaby pouncing a fumble of possession behind the try line. The extras were added for a 6-4 lead for the Hull side.
Shortly after, George Russell added a score which was converted to increase to the opposition lead to 12-4. In a strong. The visitors continued to press, but a kick on the last tackle bounced straight into the hands of Jack Howdle who rampaged up-field but found himself surrounded by chasing cover defenders.
He managed to get a pass away to the supporting Billy Riby who was unlucky to have the ball dislodged from his grasp. Right on the stroke of half-time George Russell sold an outrageous dummy to ghost in under the posts. With the extras tacked on Dockers led 18-4 at the break.
The dressing room talk appeared to do the trick for the home side in the early moments of the second half. They enjoyed much more possession and territory and as they rolled forward the visitors conceded penalty after penalty in their attempts to slow the play the ball down.
Beverley got their rewards when a long ball found Josh Poskitt who produced a spectacular dive to score in the corner too wide out to be improved. Beverley’s strong runners began to make more inroads.
Alex Calvert went on a dangerous run which saw him get a pass away to Lewis Poskitt who was pulled up just short. Moments later it was Lewis Poskitt’s cross-field kick found Josh Poskitt lurking out wide who touched down in the corner. Lewis Straw this time added the difficult touchline conversion to reduce the arrears to 14-18.
Midway through the second half and slightly against the run of play Josh Farr took advantage of some sketchy defending to force his way over for a converted try to stretch the visiting lead to 24-14.
Beverley were not about to throw in the towel and the match continued at high tempo and boiled over at times. One altercation saw a man from either side spend ten minutes in the sin-bin. The home side had the last word when a long ball from the visitors was intercepted by Lewis Straw for him to race 70 metres to score. The extras could not be added and the whistle blew. Lewis Straw and Jack Howdle were the afternoons stand out performers for Beverley on the opinions of both sets of committees.
This Saturday the season begins with Beverley’s opening 40/20 cup fixture at home to Skirlaugh Bulls.
The game was originally scheduled to take place at Saltend but has been switched to the Leisure Centre due to Skirlaugh’s NCL side also being at home on the day.
Taylor and Howdle are now getting close to deciding what their best side might be and last Saturday’s line up may well be that side. There be at least two notable absentees. Steve Connolly is serving a 4 match ban carried over from last season and Jack Humphries is still recovering from a broken ankle.
Meanwhile club officials attended the pre-season meeting of Yorkshire Mens League last Wednesday at Shaw Cross and league fixtures will be published very shortly after a few amendments.
A record number of clubs attended and applications remain open for the entry league up until March 31st.
This Saturday’s game will kick off at 2.30pm.
Final Score : Beverley ARLC 18 Hull Dockers 24 | Reported by Nick Robinson