Beverley 31-21 Roundhegians

The last home game of the 21/22 season at Beaver Park was against Roundhegians RUFC, both teams equal on points in Yorkshire Division One, and the conditions were good, so there was a promise of an entertaining game of rugby, which the supporters were treated too. An entertaining game of end-to-end rugby which saw Beverley finish victorious 31 – 21. Matchday sponsors Darren Hart from Groundtech and Iain Gillard from Big Box Group brought a good number of guests to the already excited ‘last match at home’ vibe, rounded off with a positive result meant the atmosphere at Beaver Park was buzzing.

The game was played in good spirits, but with little at stake for either team the openness of both teams performances led to many handling errors, which actually suited Beverley as the Beavers scrum was superior all afternoon. An offside penalty after five minutes allowed the returning Phil Duboulay to kick an early lead with a penalty. Both teams playing fast and loose meant the ball moved from end to end, and it wasn’t until 20 minutes that the first try came to the home team with a masterclass from Rob Smith (captain) on how to hand off tacklers, and the reliable boot of Duboulay was able to add the extras, 10 – 0. Ten minutes later the visitors got themselves a try from a first phase move, ironically from a Beverley scrum which for once in the afternoon didn’t perform as the ball ricocheted surprisingly and Roundhegians capitalised with a fastball to the winger to touchdown in the corner, and expertly converted 10 – 7 by Hewitt.

Just six minutes later the visitors were able to capitalise further from a quick turn over, kick and chase, with a kind bounce and quick feet from the winger who was able to dot down for a converted try to take a somewhat surprising lead in the game 10 – 14. On 39 minutes Beverley found themselves pressing for a score just before half-time and while there was a ruckus between a handful of forwards, which the referee was blissfully unaware of, Beverley were able to spread the ball wide across the field for Jacob Baggs to score his expected try in every game, very well converted by Duboulay. Half-time 17 – 14 and the supporters were enjoying a free-flowing end to end game in the sunshine of Beverley.

Two minutes into the second half and Duboulay was able to capitalise from an offside penalty, 20 – 14. But 10 minutes after that pressure from the visitors meant they were able to dive over the breakdown close to the try line to take the lead back with a converted try, 20 – 21. On 60 minutes Duboulay was able to take another penalty to steady the ship and reclaim the lead 23 – 21. Five minutes later the reliable boot of the opposition flyhalf Hewitt let him down which would have meant the lead would have swung back in favour of the visitors. With 10 minutes to play the most exciting move of the game came when a highball was allowed to bounce, and the visitors full-back lost the battle with Rob Smith who claimed the ball, and then made a characteristic darting run through the midfield before offloading to Jacob Holmes who was able to finish a 60-yard move, 28 – 21. With a few minutes to go one final offside penalty allowed Beverley to pull away with a 10 point margin, making the result safe, final score 31 – 21. Both teams contributed to an entertaining game, although with too many handling errors, but both defences were robust, and they all enjoyed the deserved beers in the bar afterwards.

The forwards were exemplary for Beverley, the front row of Andy Meagher, Danny Morris and man of the match Shaun Jenney gave the visiting front row a masterclass on scrummaging. It was good to see Alex McPeake back in the team after his time away in the US, and his presence was definitely felt. All of the players wearing the green of Beverley (in the first half) and then the yellow of Beverley (in the second half) contributed to a positive result and afternoon at Beaver Park.

There is one game left in the season, away to Old Rishworthian on 23 April. Tickets are still available on the website for the end of season presentation sportsman’s dinner on 30 April with special guest ex-England international Andy Goode.

The club would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the players, coaches, physios, volunteers, staff, sponsors and supporters for your dedication to your local community rugby club, we look forward to seeing you at Beaver Park again next season.

Brian Gilbert