The blue and golds will be disappointed with the result but will take heart from a brave performance against the league leaders and possibly the title favourites.
Batley from the West Riding brought a side large in physical stature to the Leisure Centre and asked a huge amount of questions of the Beverley defence.
Beverley’s defence provided the answers most of the time but just spent far too much time defending close to the line and inevitably cracked in the end.
Head Coach Scott Taylor commented;
”I am proud about the way we rallied after going 18 points down after 60 minutes as most sides would have folded, but we finished the stronger side”.
It was a day for those who enjoy the physical challenge, and the man of the match awards reflected this. The visitors voted Bobby Howdle as the man of the match and the supporters/committee voted for Jake Hart-Fisher. Both players rolled up their sleeves and never took a backward step in a physically intense battle.
In the final analysis, perhaps the amount of possession turned over by the home side close to their own line proved crucial to the result.
Beverley got off to a dream start racing to a 10-0 lead in ten minutes. Some good field position was gained by Beverley early on, and Lewis Poskitt got the scoreboard ticking over with a dummy and step to go over beside the posts for Straw to convert. They enjoyed more territory and an opportunist dart from dummy half by Lewis Campion saw him score in the corner. The extras could not be added.
Batley edged their way back into proceedings and after Beverley lost the ball close to their own line, an attack was snuffed out as their wingman was forced into touch. In attack, the home side kept giving the ball plenty of air and looked capable of extending their lead. However, some more spilled possession close to their own line led to more pressure.
On the half hour mark, the visitors went close but for Billy Riby doing well to turn a near certain scorer on his back very close to the line. The pressure finally told in the next set as the ball was shipped out for Josh Whitehead to score wide out, The extras were added and five minutes from half-time Adam Bingham levelled the scores with a try and converted himself to put the Batley outfit ahead. Right on th stroke of half-time Lewis Straw converted a penalty to level things up at 12-12.
The first 20 minutes of the second half were dominated by the visitors as their pack ground out the yards. Three converted tries resulted courtesy of Matt Sheridan, Jay Price and Josh Knowles. At this stage, prospects looked gloomy for the hosts, but they refused to capitulate and the fight back began after 60 minutes.
After the visitors lost possession in their own 20, they then followed some enterprising attack. Lewis Straw’s long pass then saw Alex Calvert then send Lewis Campion over for his second try, the conversion could not be added but the home side’s confidence was lifted. Stand-Off Lewis Straw started to demonstrate what he is capable of.
A long kick downfield by him was well chased, and the visiting wingman was forced into touch. The resultant attacking set was well defended by the visitors but the momentum was established. The penalty count started to weigh in the home side’s favour.
After one such penalty, Poskitt took a quick tap and fed the ball to Lewis Straw who dummied and stepped inside to score and convert his own score. There was still ten minutes to go but Beverley were unable to close the gap any further. There was no shortage of enterprise in attack in the closing minutes by the home side.
This coming weekend Beverley ARLC will visit North Hull Knights, but the date and time of the fixture is yet to be confirmed as both sides are keen to avoid a clash with the Majic Weekend at Newcastle. Tuesday 23rd or Wednesday 24th are the likely preferred dates.
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