The Blue and Golds got their first league points of the season in a tense war of attrition at the Leisure Centre.
The home side dominated possession and territory in the second half with the visitors rarely getting out of their own half. It was a case of Dewsbury Celtic being unable to hang on to a 12-4 lead forever when having to defend so many repeat sets.
Delighted with his first win in charge, Sam French commented ”Defensively, I thought we were outstanding working for each other and that ultimately got us over the line in the end. A few things to fix up in attack but the improvements are there to see.”
The hosts started well with early some early pressure forcing a goal-line drop-out and repeat set. The pressure was translated into points when a slick handling movement to the left saw Josh Poskitt send Lewis Miller over in the corner in the 6th minute. The extras were not added.
The visitors did then enjoy more of the play aided by a few penalties. A Celtic kick on the last tackle hit a Beverley player and bounced back into the hands of Charlie Heaton who touched down. Heaton converted his own score to give Celtic a 6-4 lead after 16 minutes of play.
After 25 minutes there was a chance up the other end when Lewis Poskitt broke from deep and seemingly drew his man perfectly to send Francis Coggle over. The pass was ruled forward.
The half-hour mark then saw Celtic’s player of the match Billy Yarrow go over from the dummy half. Charlie Heaton converted to extend the visitor’s lead to 12-4.
There was more pressure by the hosts towards the end of the half but they could not convert it into points and the score remained at 12-4 at the break.
The second half was very much about Beverley throwing everything including the kitchen sink at their opponents in the hope of points.
Ten minutes into the half James Boughen made a dangerous break only to be dragged into touch with the line beckoning. Midway through the second half, as the home side sensed the overlap, the ball was swiftly moved across to the left to Lewis Miller. The winger stepped inside to evade the cover but was taken out high seemingly in the act of scoring.
Only a penalty was awarded despite strong protests from the home side that they should have been awarded a penalty try.
The pressure continued with Josh Poskitt being denied as the visitors managed to kick the ball dead at the last moments. Another handling movement to the left saw Lewis Miller go very close in the corner. But as the ball was then shifted across to the right, Alex Calvert managed to find the narrowest of gaps to squeeze over wide out. The extras were not added but the arrears were reduced to 8-12 after 65 minutes.
With confidence lifting, the home side continued to apply the pressure. A kick on the last tackle then saw Casey Hutchinson leap up to take the ball and touch down in the 70th minute. Josh Poskitt this time converted to give Beverley a slender 14-12 lead which they never lost.
However, it was to be an agonizing wait for the home crowd. With many injuries to attend to including Dan Smart, there were to be 6 minutes of stoppage time.
The defence held up to earn a very welcome and valuable 2 league points. Man of the match was Bobby Howdle who was a constant menace to the opponents on his return after a few weeks on the sidelines. Sam Roe was again outstanding in the pack.
Beverley ARLFC 14 Dewsbury Celtic 12