Beverley hosted a resurgent Selby at Beaver Park on a miserable wet and grey day when conditions were bound to be difficult to allow much entertaining rugby and, so it proved.
The match was held as a Memorial game to celebrate the life of Lee Morley, a good friend of the club who, sadly passed away last year. Proceedings from the match and lunch raised over £3000 to be donated to Ward 29 at Castle Hill hospital at the request of Lee’s family in thanks for the care given to Lee during his extended time there.
Last weekend Selby overturned the Beavers’ closest promotion rivals by 27 points to 14 and, under their new coaching set up, are looking to mount their now familiar escape route from danger at the foot of the table,
Due to a number of injuries and work commitments, Beverley needed to make several changes from previous weeks having lost both wingers, a lock, flanker and prop. Full back Luke Hazell was switched from full back to right wing and the line up had an unfamiliar look about it. Nonetheless, the changes did not appear to upset the momentum of the recent performances of the Beverley squad and all draftees acquitted themselves well.
Things looked to be on track when the beavers started the game in their usual manner, conceding a penalty after three minutes which stand off Hunt kicked to give Selby a 0-3 lead. Try as they might the Beavers could not get their hands on the ball for the next 10 minutes or so until a Selby infringement resulted in a penalty to them which Phil Duboulay duly kicked (3-3).
Five minutes later Alfie Hart-Fisher scored a try under the posts which Phil Duboulay duly converted to make it 10-3, and after a further ten minutes of relentless Beverly pressure Will Turnbull scored another try which Phil Duboulay again converted (17-3).
Conditions were deteriorating into the second half with the drizzling rain increasing making handling more and more difficult. After 50 minutes Luke Hazell rounded off a fine move to score an excellent try which the ever reliable Phil Duboulay again converted to make the score 24-3 but this score seemed to shake Selby into action and they retained possession very well through their forwards, to the extent that the Beavers had to hang on and defend stoutly to keep them out.
Eventually the pressure told and a forward drive took Selby over the line for a try which Hunt converted to reduce the arrears to 24-10.
Two scores in it now but Selby had expended their effort and the Beavers re-grouped and started to threaten the Selby line, needing one more try for the bonus point. Thankfully, with 5 minutes remaining, after a sustained period of forward pressure, Isaac Keighley picked up from the back of a maul and went over for the fourth try and earned the bonus point.
Phil Duboulay converted to round off a fine display of kicking in conditions which were not helpful, which earned him the man of the match award. He was closely followed in this by Isaac Keighley who carried the ball well throughout the game.
There is no game next week since it is a six nations weekend but the clubhouse will be open for the games on TV (Ireland v Italy and England v Wales) when refreshments will be available.