The blue and gold slipped to defeat on their travels last Saturday but can be proud of their efforts.
Beverley succumbed to defeat on a hot energy sapping afternoon in West Yorkshire that required drinks breaks at the 20 and 60-minute points.
Batley Boys were very physical but fair and without doubt justified their tag as title favourites. Their forwards combined with constant offloads constantly put Beverley under pressure. In the end repeat, sets proved to be a crucial factor in the result.
Head coach Scott Taylor commented;
“I am proud of everybody’s efforts today and if that is a team that is standing in the way of us possibly winning this league, then I don’t have a problem.”
Ironically the visitors had a dream start and looked in control for the opening 15 minutes. After only 3 minutes, a towering kick towards the corner failed to be dealt with by the home side, and Steve Johnson pounced to score out wide.
Lewis Straw added the extras. Beverley continued to press and were a little unlucky not to get over the line again.
A couple of potentially defence splitting passes by Lewis Straw who impressed on his return went to ground. They did come away with some points for their troubles as Lewis Straw added a penalty to stretch the lead to 8-0.
The reply for the home side came after 15 minutes when Beverley charged a kick down on the last tackle to give Batley a repeat set. Josh Richter forced his way over in the next set. There was no let up as the host continued roll forward and get the ball away in the tackle.
Aaron James levelled the scores with try shortly after, and the extras were tacked on for a 10-8 lead. Joseph O’Hanlan extended the home side’s the lead after 20 minutes. Some expansive play saw him dive over in the corner with a suspicion of a forward pass in the movement.
Towards the end of the half, Beverley managed to mount some more attacks. Alex Calvert broke free and looked to get a pass away to Billy Riby that went to ground. Furthermore, a kick a head from Lewis Straw caused confusion in the Batley ranks.
He managed to get his foot to the ball again and Lewis Campion almost re-gathered the ball with the line beckoning. It was the final action of the half as the two sides turned around with the hosts 14-8 up.
The second half did not start well for Beverley as the ball was given air by the home side and their wingman Joseph O’Hanlan scored his second in the corner to stretch them out to a 18-8 lead. This did not phase the visitors and soon after Steve Connolly’s kick into the in-goal area forced a line drop-out.
The next set saw Lewis Straw dummy and sidestep his way to try after a powerful surge from Louis Hubbard had set up the position. Straw adding the extras to reduce the arrears to 18-14. There were further chances for the visitors as Jack Howdle’s pass sent Alex Calvert in the clear who kicked ahead, but the home side scrambled across to dive on the ball and snuff out the danger.
Batley also threatened points when a kick ahead caused problems, but Lewis Campion managed to save the day by running the ball dead.
Nathan Williams got a crucial score for the home side on the 63rd minute when pressure finally told after more repeat sets, which was the story of the afternoon. The extras were added. They continued to go in for the kill as a breakaway movement had try written all over it, but for a last ditch tackle from Billy Riby.
Ryan Crossley did seal the points for the hosts 7 minutes from time after Beverley spilled possession driving the ball away close to their own posts.
Both sides played their part in a quality game and advertisement for the Yorkshire Premier Division. Lewis Straw was given the man of the match by the opposition with Chris Johnson getting the vote from the committee.
At the time of going to press Beverley are at home to North Hull Knights this Saturday but this may be re-scheduled.
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