The blue and golds slipped to defeat in this clash of these two local rivals but can be proud of the passion shown in defeat.
An extraordinary set of circumstances left Beverley unable to call on the services of 32 squad members.
Stag weekends and injuries were the main reasons but Bobby Howdle, Ryan Watkin and Sam Coleman were all representing the British Army at the Armed forces weekend at Crossfields ARLFC. The rules do allow a club to postpone a fixture should they have two or more players at a representative fixture.
After numerous phone calls, the two clubs were unable to agree on a fresh date for the fixture. The RFL’s competitions manager for the Yorkshire Mens League Chris Spurr therefore, advised that if the fixture was not played on the original date, Beverley would be deemed the offending side.
The sanction for this being the game awarded to North Hull Knights by a score of 24-0 and a 1 point deduction. After feverish activity on the Thursday evening, Scott Taylor managed to assemble a makeshift side. Billy Riby and Jordan Mouncey formed the half back partnership.
Daryl Gregory and Lee Falcus made rare appearances on the wings. The centres were made up of Tom Radley, who was transferred from West Hull on the Friday morning and Will Turnbull, who is usually accustomed to turning out for Beverley RUFC in the same position. Nick Cross also made a rare appearance from the bench. The starting pack did have a more familiar look to it.
Problems aside, the home side could have quite easily still taken both points in this game. There was no shortage of effort and energy in the performance, particularly in defence but converting pressure into points proved to be the difference in the end. Due to players playing out of position, Beverley appeared to lack ideas and creativity on their numerous spells of pressure in the visitors 20.
In the early exchanges saw the hosts looking the better of the two sides seemingly gaining more ground with each carry combined with strong defending. The Knights weathered the storm and settled down.
Hull Knights took the lead in the 17th-minute courtesy of a Ben Goaten try converted by Tuttle. The visitors almost extended their lead when some expansive play to the right flank saw an inside pass go to ground.
Towards the end of the half, Beverley started to apply some pressure. Chris Johnson’s kick into the in-goal area forced a line drop-out, Several repeat sets then followes in the Knight’s 20 as they conceded penalties for holding down at the play the ball. The pressure finally paid off as Alex Calvert forced his way over wide out. The conversion was missed, but the lead was cut to 6-4 at the interval.
The early moments of the second half saw the visitors pile on the pressure. One passing movement to the right ended with Lee Falcus intervening at the right moment as the visitors looked like scoring in the right-hand corner. Sam Beardshaw did add a further unconverted try for the Knights in the 52nd minute stretching their lead to 10-4. They continued to batter the Beverley line, and it was all hands to the pump in defence for the home side.
Having survived the onslaught, Beverley hit back. A Chris Johnson kick on the last was regatherd by Alex Calvert who kicked again and re-gathered for a try beside the posts. Stand in goal kicker Billy Riby this time leveling the scores at 10-10 with the conversion with around 18 minutes to go.
Jack Tuttle edged the visitors in front with a drop-goal with ten minutes to go. Another attack by the visitors this time saw the ball shipped to the left and Daryl Gregory went for the interception which saved a try. If he could have held onto the ball, he had 80 metres of clear field in front of him and maybe could have scored the winner.
Three minutes from time Sam Beardshaw added his second try for the Knights, but the conversion was missed and Beverley were still in it at 15-10. There was five minutes of added time, but the home side were unable to exploit this.
Alex Calvert’s two try performance earned him the man of the match, but the efforts of all 17 players were praised by Scott Taylor. “I have asked a number of lads to step in for me at the last minute, and they have done me proud and it was a moral victory if nothing else.”
They will be looking to avenge a 30-16 defeat to the South Yorkshire outfit earlier in the season.
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