Beverley knew the visit of Dinnington RUFC to Beaver Park was going to be a tough one after last season’s encounter when they stifled the Beverley game plan so effectively it was reminiscent of what South Africa did to England last weekend.
This occasion had a much better outcome for the Beavers, playing at home in the cold sunshine on a squelchy pitch, an entertaining 9 try game saw Beverley finish worthy winners 36-22.
An early try from the home team with their first possession on 3 minutes from Jack Foster dotting down easily in the corner after a string of good passes from one touchline to the other, set a false expectation that it may not be as tough as first thought.
That was dispelled when a clever kick through from the Dinnington fly-half was grounded for their first try and snatched the lead, 5-7.
Five minutes later great work on the right-wing from Jockey Holmes who offloaded to Luke Hazell to finish off. Dinnington replied with a seldom-seen drop goal, to draw level.
Quick reactions from Rob Smith allowed him to capitalise with a try from a loose ball at the breakdown, converted by Captain Phil Duboulay. The last score before the break went to Jack Foster in the corner, again after good hands, half time 22-10 to Beverley.
Dinnington came out fighting in the second half, and a sustained ten-minute assault of Beverley’s try line, although defended well, eventually resulted in a try for the visitors, 22-15.
The Beavers pushed back themselves, Liam Butler punching through the line, offloading to Rob Smith who made good yards and then passed to Jockey Holmes to finish an exhilarating move, converted by the Captain.
Dinnington would not lie down and punched back with a classic drive-over forwards converted the try, 29-22. The forward pack for Beverley were playing very well against a traditionally stronger West Yorkshire pack, securing good ball for the backs at scrums, lineouts and breakdowns, something that was much improved from the last encounter.
Head coach and inside centre Will Turnbull limped off with a nasty looking knee injury and then shortly after that on 70 minutes, the game was effectively won with the trademark gazelle-like running of full-back Luke Hazell, who picked the ball up from a kick in his own 22, weaved through a straggling defensive line and ran the length of the field dotting down under the post in front to the Beverley faithful (and his parents) in the South Stand, to great applaud from the fans and his teammates.
After the match, Luke said he’d done it to celebrate his sister Lauren’s birthday.
Final score 36-22 in a highly competitive game, enjoyed by all, Josh Cox was Dinnington’s man of the match, Liam Butler got the same accolade for Beverley and there were good debuts for Matty Page and Jamie Major from the Colts. Old Crossleyans next week away.
Thank you to both teams and all the supporters for an excellent afternoon in sunny Beverley.