Beverley RUFC started the second half of the season entertaining Pontefract on a cold and grey day, but at least dry conditions underfoot made the prospect of some good rugby realistic and so it proved.
In September the Beavers secured a victory over Pontefract in the corresponding fixture over in the West Riding. Results since then shown that Ponte has improved substantially and they currently sit fourth in the table, with 13 points more than Beverley.
Beverley kicked off and almost immediately awarded a penalty which Phil Duboulay converted to give them a 3 point lead. Both sides were showing their willingness to play open running rugby but Beverley was dominating the territory and generally winning the breakdowns.
After 20 minutes they were rewarded when Luke Hazell made a good break and fed Ben Woodhouse who scored a try which Phil Duboulay converted (10-0). Five minutes later a good forward drive resulted in Alfie Hart-Fisher scoring next to the posts and Phil Duboulay added the conversion to make it 17-0.
Pontefract hit back almost immediately to reduce the arrears with a try from right winger Stewart Sanderson too far wide for the conversion (17-5).
10 minutes later, as half-time approached, back came Beverley with a great try from young winger Theo Richardson who set off on a mazy run, cut inside leaving the Pontefract full back clutching at thin air and touched down close enough in for Phil Duboulay to oblige with the extras (24-5).
Five minutes after the restart Pontefract centre Andy Coleman sliced through the Beverley defence to score close in and Callum Watt converted to remind the Beavers that there was still plenty to play for! (24-12).
They responded well to the reminder however and Lewis Szrama scored a good try wide out to give them the bonus point (29-12). This was followed by a penalty from Phil Duboulay to stretch the lead to 32-12 and give them a cushion requiring Pontefract to score 2 or 3 tries with some conversions.
However, they set about showing Beverley that this task would not be beyond them and they scored two tries in quick succession through hooker Johnny Hill and centre Andy Coleman, the latter converted to make it 32-24 but Phil Duboulay finally settled matters with a successful penalty to make the final score 35-24.
This was a cracking game of rugby between two very well matched teams. It is very difficult to select a man of the match for Beverley. Each of the 18 man squad played their part to the full in what was a very competent performance.
Final Score: Beverley RUFC 35 Pontefract RUFC 24 | Reported by Malcolm Cunningham