Beverley U15s welcomed Goole to Beaver Park for a first-round Yorkshire Cup tie just two weeks after losing to them in an early-season friendly.
Coming back to near full-strength after injury lay-offs over recent weeks presented the u15s with a chance to redress the balance, and a strong and intelligent display from the full squad saw them contain and dismantle a capable and expansive Goole team.
Within 5 minutes of the kick-off fly-half Eden Quantock sent centre Nathan Cullen through for his first try of the day. The Beverley forwards received the ball well from the restart and took it straight back into Goole’s half.
Over the next couple of minutes, Beverley maintained possession and applied pressure at the breakdowns, forcing Goole further and further backwards until lock Josh Dillon was able to cross for a well-deserved try (converted by Quantock).
After the restart it was Goole’s turn to put the pressure on, as they moved to within 5m of the Beverley try line. However the Beverley defence was resolute and, after withstanding repeated onslaughts, a turnover allowed Quantock to clear the deep back into Goole territory.
A lightning chase by Cullen found gaps in the Goole defence, before he was able to slip the ball to wing Ben Ashley who eluded the Goole tackles to win a dramatic sprint down the left wing and touch down for his first try of the season.
The game settled for a few minutes before a lapse in concentration gave the Goole full-back the space he needed to cut through the Beverley defence and cross under the posts for their first try of the match, which was easily converted.
With 2 minutes of the first half left to play, ferocious and hard running from captain and front-row forward Harrison Petrie paid off as he crashed over for his first try of the day, giving Beverley a 22-7 advantage at the turn-round.
The second half began with another score by Petrie after just 2 minutes. Again, the game settled down but it was the Beverley forwards who kept control, and confident ball handling through the half-backs gave the centre pairing of Cullen and Sam Acaster a score each over the next 10 minutes of action. When their hooker, Alex Crockett, was forced off an ankle injury for the second week running, Beverley had to quickly restructure their forwards.
Fortunately this didn’t appear to disrupt the momentum as, running from deep, full-back Tom Barnard then evaded the Goole defence to nudge the scoreline to 42-7, before a rare mistake in defence allowed the Goole full-back to break through and lift the visitors’ score to double figures. Unfortunately for Goole this proved to be too little too late as Beverley once again closed the door on them, before Barnard drew a line under the game with his second score of the day, making it 47-12 at full-time.
This decisive victory for Beverley was made possible by a strong team performance. The speed of the defence line was crucial, as was the attention paid to shutting down Goole’s capable and pacey backs. Man of the match could have gone to any one of several players although, taking over the captaincy from the injured Ben Wilkinson, prop Harrison Petrie led from the front and helped control the game – securing the vote for this week.
Special mentions should also go to lock Josh Dillon who had another immense game in both attack and defence, the ever-improving centre pairing of Nathan Cullen and Sam Acaster, and to wing Ben Ashley who is continuing to grow in confidence and begin to realise his potential.
Final Score : Beverley RUFC U15s 47 Goole 12
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