Beverley knew the visit of Heath to Beaver Park was going to be a tough one. It always is, and more recently the men from Halifax have had the edge, utilising their strength to better advantage than Beverley’s.
Heath’s strength being a forward pack that is probably the strongest and best drilled in the league, Beverley’s strength is their fast and creative backs that can score tries from anywhere.
Unfortunately for Beverley, the old adage was proven true, your backs can’t score tries if the forwards don’t secure the ball for them, and with no disrespect to the Beverley forwards at all, the superior pack from Heath won the game for them 20 – 28.
An early penalty for Heath was countered with a try from the ever-alert Scrum-half Rob Smith in the corner and brilliantly converted by Captain Phil Duboulay.
Heath’s forwards scored their first of three tries on 15 minutes, countered with a Beverley Penalty and then an excellent try from an Alfie Hart-Fisher line break and offload to Inside Centre Will Turnbull carrying it 30 yards before passing to Rob Smith to finish the last 40 yards at pace, which was the highlight of the game for back play.
A penalty, followed by another try and goal for the big men from Halifax, made the half time score 17 – 18.
Beverley were limited to one penalty from Duboulay in the second half as the Heath pack took a stranglehold on the game, the exhausted Beverley men tackled their hearts out and never stopped all match.
The dominant scrum in the last quarter of the game meant that even when they made a mistake Heath often got the ball back. A third forwards converted try and then a penalty for holding on, gave the away team a key 8 point margin, the game finishing 20 – 28.
This was an excellent game of rugby, played in great spirit between two teams with contrasting approaches to the way they play.
Heath fully deserved the victory, and a battered Beverley deserve a medal for keeping their opponents to just three tries having had 80% possession.
No. 8 Isaac Keighley was the man of the match for Beverley, who picked up some horrible ball at the base of an often retreating scrum.
Two late forced changes to Beverley’s front row didn’t help to Beverley’s day. Hooker Sam Fell missing the game as his partner inconveniently went into Labour on match-day morning! We are very happy to report the arrival of little Jelly, aka Tommy Oscar-William to the Beverley RUFC family, mother and baby doing well, great news on a really tough day for the Beverley 1st and 2nd XV, who also suffered an away loss at Driffield.