Beverley needed to bounce back after their narrow defeat the week before away to Old Brodleians and show some of their trademark entertaining rugby – which they did in abundance.
The sun was shining and the atmosphere buzzing as it always is at Beaver Park especially on the first home game, expectations high from both teams and sets of supporters, and Beverley had to absorb early pressure from Leo’s who started very strong. The pressure paid off when George Faulkner broke the defensive line 40 yards out to finish under the sticks. Maybe this was not to go Beverley’s way?
Once Beverley got the ball in hand, the supporters saw the strength of the forwards retaining and presenting to the backs a platform to play some exhilarating rugby, on 15 and 17 minutes, there were two quick tries finished by Jockey Holmes, the first quick cross-field passing from one side to the other, and the second a lovely inside switch pass from Captain Phil Duboulay.
Just before half tie two more quick tries, slick handling from a lineout saw Liam Butler finish well under great pressure, and then on 40 mins Rob Smith going on one of his mazy runs, that no Leo’s man could seem to stop, a jink a goose-step finished by a grubber kick from Smith into the try zone saw Alfie Hart-Fisher get the all-important grounding. Half time 24 – 7 to Beverley, and a 4 try bonus point already in the bag.
Leodiensians had played well, and may have felt a little shell-shocked, losing their talisman Faulkner halfway through the half would not have helped, but the home fans didn’t mind and the ale was flowing freely. In the week before the Beavers had scored 31 points in the first half, and then none in the second, could this happen again?
No. The home team picked up where they had finished, on 45 mins Phil Duboulay saw a gap open in the Leo’s line, and took the invitation graciously, dotting down under the post in from of the adoring home crowd.
On 65 minutes Leo’s did hit back, and deservedly so, they are clearly a good team and will be a force in Yorkshire 1 this season. The try triggered a reaction from Beverley who felt the need to close the game out, doing so first with a hat-trick try for Jockey Homes, finishing well in the corner after fast hands, and then another sublime individual run from Rob Smith, playing scrum-half, who this time was able to finish scoring the try himself, with 15 minutes to go, the score was 43 – 12.
However, some ill-discipline on Beverley’s part and dogged determination from the visitors, allowed the away team to finish with two late tries, capitalising on Beverley having three yellow cards given in the last quarter of the game. That meant Leo’s also claimed a four-try bonus point for all their hard graft, which they thoroughly deserved. Final score 43 – 24.
The home fans were very happy, having watched an entertaining match, with eleven tries played in good spirits and well refereed by Matthew Higgins. Man of the Match was Alfie Hart-Fisher, and Jockey Holmes had to buy his teammates a round of drinks for getting his hat-trick of tries. Next week, Pontefract away for the first team and Malton at home for the 2nd team.