Beverley 21-22 Normanton Knights
This defeat will be ”a difficult one to swallow” in the words of the coaching staff. The Blue and Golds, leading 15-2 at the interval, having played some entertaining rugby in the process, shipped 4 tries in the early part of the second half to undo the good work.
The home side began in a confident manner with the half-back combination of Callum Cone and Lewis Poskitt ensuring a fluid delivery of the ball across the field. The visitors did take the lead in the 11th minute with a penalty goal by Charlie Barker. There was a chance for the home side in the 13th minute as Dan Precious broke away from deep in his own half to slip a pass away to Francis Coggle. As support was on hand, Coggle’s pass, unfortunately, went to ground.
Moments later, Beverley forced a line drop-out. More pressure ensued and with Dan Smart going very close with a strong charge for the line. In the 22nd minute, they got their rewards and took a 4-2 lead. A dummy and break out his own half by Lewis Poskitt set up the field position. Poskitt was then on hand to send Billy Riby over. The extras were not added.
Beverley went further ahead on the half-hour mark. Lewis Poskitt and Callum Cone worked a clever move direct from a scrum to send Francis Coggle over. Josh Poskitt converted for a 10-2 lead. Some more sweet handling, this time to the right-hand side, saw Josh Poskitt cross in the 35th minute.
The extras were not added and Normanton quickly regained possession from the restart kick. A well-defended set by the hosts saw them hold up Normanton’s attacker over the line. A counter-attack from deep from the home side then saw teenage debutant Beau English sent away on the break but the cover defence came across to snuff out the danger. Right on the stroke of half-time Lewis Poskitt stroked over a drop-goal to stretch the Beverley lead to 15-2.
The early part of the second half saw the West Riding outfit hit a purple patch. Their bulkier, more experienced pack made inroads. In quick succession, Jacob Crossland (2), Alex Barker and Connor Wilson crossed for tries. Two of the touchdown were converted by Joe Crossland to transform the score to 22-15 in the visitors’ favour.
As the hosts attempted to hit back, they were inclined to be rash and several passes went to ground when in dangerous positions. With 5 minutes to go, aided by a succession of penalties, Beverley got some good field position. Alex Calvert crashed over and Josh Poskitt quickly converted to give the home supporters hope.
They were unable to force another score and slipped to a disappointing defeat. There is, however, the sense of a work in progress considering the very young average age of the side. Francis Coggle was man of the match for a second successive week.