Happily, for both these sides, there is no relegation from Yorkshire One this season; otherwise, this might have been a tense relegation dogfight.
In the event it was an enjoyable and entertaining game with plenty of running rugby; carefree, almost, with nothing much at stake. Huddersfield YMCA must have one of the most pleasant playing grounds in the league and with ideal conditions and a fine sunny afternoon, there was every reason to hope for a good game.
The visitors to Beaver park were Pontefract RUFC, flying high in the Yorkshire One table, and needing just one more victory to secure promotion their spirits were raised further upon arrival when they realised it was Ladies Day at Beverley RUFC.
Not a day to remember. Or at any rate not for the rugby. Persistent heavy rain and a fierce downfield wind meant that from start to finish this game never developed into anything much more than a relentless forward slog. Expansive running rugby was out of the question.
On a dry day, this might have been an enthralling encounter between these old rivals. Goole arrived on the back of an upturn in form and an impressive victory the previous week against the league leaders.
After a bruising encounter last week at top of the table Middlesbrough, where Beverley represented themselves well but didn’t bring back any points, an away trip to the bottom of the table Bradford Salem looked an easier fixture, but there are no easy fixtures in Yorkshire one when you’re going through a transitional phase with the team and under a new head coach.
That head coach, Craig Hancock, was very pleased by the end of the afternoon having had a hard-fought battle with the home team who were looking for their third consecutive victory at home.
The supporters and guests at Beaver Park were treated to one more early Christmas present with another thrilling game of rugby between top of the table Old Crossleyans and Beverley.
Both teams battled to the end and delivered a very entertaining game of rugby, very well refereed by Simon Franks who allowed a fierce competition to ensue without too much incident and saw the home team give the top team only their second defeat of the season, Beverley 25 – 15 Old Crossleyans.
Middlesbrough kicked off on a bright sunny afternoon at Beaver Park and the Beavers immediately set up camp in the visitors 22.
After 5 minutes Rob Smith scooted over for a try which Phil Duboulay converted (7-0). He followed this 2 minutes later by making a fine break and putting Jake Boardman in for a try which Duboulay again converted to make it 14 points to nil and to set their supporters cheering after last week’s disappointing result at Old Crossleyans.
A good natured crowd, a fast game, and a tight finish; this was a good day’s rugby. After three defeats in their last four league outings Beverley badly needed a win here.
Not to get one was a disappointment and they now find themselves languishing in mid-table. It wasn’t for the want of trying and there was plenty of enterprise but in the end they could have no complaint at the final result.
A close run thing but Beverley eventually went out of the Yorkshire Shield. It was a high scoring and absorbing game throughout and in the end, there were only two points in it.
Perhaps the relevant factor was that while Beverley’s scores all came from their own exertions every Moortown point resulted directly from a Beverley error. Beverley should have won this match comfortably but simply gave it away through their own profligacy.
This was a cracking game with bags of thrilling rugby. Both sides played throughout with flair and ambition providing plenty for the spectators to enjoy in the autumn sunshine.
For three-quarters of the game, the advantage swung one way then the other. It was only when Heath went two converted tries ahead with twenty minutes left that either side began to dominate. Despite the loss, this was much more like it from Beverley. After the dire showing of the previous week, they played well here and deserved better than an eighteen point defeat.