Beverley RUFC kicked off on a wet and blustery afternoon at Beaver Park to start this Yorkshire Division 1 fixture, and immediately mounted an assault on the Keighley line.
But, largely due to determined defence by Keighley, were unable to capitalise on their possession of the ball in the early exchanges. In fact during this early period Keighley were unable to hang on to the ball for long enough to get out of their own half.
At last after 15 minutes the Beavers were able to break through when full back Luke Hazell joined the three quarter line to create an overlap on the left wing which he exploited well to touch down in the corner (5-0). With the strong breeze against him Phil Duboulay was unable to convert.
Beverley continued to press but the dogged Keighley defence kept them at bay and indeed, Keighley themselves began to settle down and this created an exciting spell of running rugby with both sides making light of the conditions, leading to what looked like becoming a very close encounter.
On 38 minutes Beverley No 8 Isaac Keighley received a yellow card and, from the resulting penalty from 35 yds Alex Brown reduced the arrears for Keighley to 5 points to 3.
Beverley won the re-start and promptly moved further ahead when James Graham scored in the corner on the right wing to make it 10 points to 3, but too far out to convert.
The second half started with Beverley pressing the Keighley line again but a careless offload allowed the Keighley left winger to intercept and race away up the wing for fully 80 yards before being overhauled by the speedy Luke Hazell to save the day.
After 50 minutes Beverley scrum half Will Harrison scored under the posts for Phil Duboulay to convert to make the score 17-3 and 5 minutes later Will Turnbull repeated the move to score the bonus point try and again Phil Duboulay added the extras to make it 24 points to 3.
The game was now beginning to look beyond Keighley’s reach although they were sticking gamely at it. However, they had no real answer to Beverley’s speedy backs who were displaying some superb ball handling, especially considering the conditions.
Beverley were now almost completely dominating proceedings and after 75 minutes Joey Franklin scored a deserved try out wide on the left wing, Phil Duboulay converted with a magnificent kick (31-3) and, to compound Keighley’s misery No 6 Stuart Inman was yellow carded.
In the final 5 minutes firstly Luke Hazell and finally Will Harrison both ran in tries, both converted by Phil Duboulay to make the final score 45 points to 3 to Beverley.
This was a most enjoyable game played in a good spirit between (despite the scoreline) two pretty even matched sides. The game was well refereed by Tom Boyle from North Yorks Society. He kept good control of the game in an unfussy manner and is definitely one of the best referees that we have had this season so far.
Beverley’s man of the match was Alfie Hart-Fisher who never stopped going forward all afternoon.
Final Score : Beverley RUFC 45 Keighley RUFC 3