Barrow Island 20-10 Beverley

This was always going to be a tough ask going to Cumbria against a promotion-chasing outfit towards the end of what has been a difficult campaign. Beverley can be proud of their efforts and in the words of Joe Morley “Unbelievable effort from one to seventeen. It feels so much better when everyone puts in a shift. It shows the quality we have got on the back of the effort. The challenge is now for everyone to back up this attitude and commitment together.”

The comments were reinforced by the opposing coach who said “Your league position would seem a false one. You kept coming at us in the middle and the game could have gone either way.”

After having to do a stint of defending early in the match the visitors settled and got on the attack themselves. On a play which saw them keep the ball alive very well, they took the lead in the 11th minute. The move ending with Josh Poskitt stepping inside a defender to touch down wide out. Poskitt converted his own try for a 6-0 lead.

The home side then pressed and aided with a couple of set restarts exerted pressure. Max Anderson-Moore pulled back an unconverted try for them.

Around the half-hour mark, the visitors pressed again. Penalties were awarded for a high tackle on Lewis Poskitt while on a dangerous-looking run and then also a ball steal. There were several charges at the line with man of the match Jack Howdle and Alex Nuttall very much leading the charge going forward.

However, the pressure didn’t produce a score and 5 minutes before the break the hosts took the lead. A kick ahead on the last tackle saw Sam Jones win the race to touch down. Adam Jackson added the extras and the two sides turned around with score standing at 10-6.

The second half saw Beverley playing into the teeth of a strong wind. They did use it to their advantage on a couple of occasions with a short kick-off which sat up in the wind and saw them regain possession.

There was some early second-half pressure from the visitors but just when they were looking dangerous a long pass was intercepted by Sam Jones raced away to touch down in the 52nd minute. Adam Jackson converting to make it 16-6.

Undeterred the visitors continued to complete sets. Midway through the second half when they looked to have got a repeat set through forcing a line drop-out the strong wind thwarted them. The line drop-out by the home side went fully 90 meters up-field and bounced into touch. Beverley then found themselves having to defend 18 tackles close to their own line which they did well to deny their opponents a try.

Beverley did then get some more attacking plays in the final quarter of the game. It was a game where chances were generally at a premium. Lewis Poskitt and Alex Calvert playing in the unusual position of stand-off half worked hard to create chances and there was the non-stop probes from Bobby Howdle. Rewards did come in the 70th minute. A good dummy from Dan Robinson saw him touch down wide out. The extras were not added but the arrears were reduced to 16-10.

The visitors were unable to force a further score and Dan Wright sealed the points for the Cumbrians with an unconverted try in the closing minutes.

It must be said that the Barrow Island club were superb hosts from start to finish. Beverley were grateful for their assistance with dealing with on of their supporters (a player’s stepfather) who collapsed midway through the second half necessitating for play to be held up for several minutes. Indeed an incident-packed afternoon did not end there. One of Beverley’s helpers, Dave Sampson stumbled when the bus stopped at a shop on the journey home. It was later confirmed at hospital that he had ruptured tendons behind the kneecap in a nasty-looking injury. Everyone wishes him a speedy recovery.

Nick Robinson