Beverley 39-19 Bradford Salem

Beverley RUFC managed to lift themselves up one more position in the Counties 1 Yorkshire league after a bruising encounter at Beaver Park as we enter into the second half of the season, claiming the double over visitors Bradford Salem. The conditions were tricky, very soft underfoot and aided by a couple of torrential downpours during the match. Although the performance was much better from the Beavers, especially in the second half, the cost of the 39-19 win was very high, with season-ending injuries to two key players.

The first points of the game came from the boot of Rob Smith, who clearly brought his kicking boots this week and had a good game all round, from a ruck infringement penalty, but six minutes later Salem bounced back with a try that they capitalised from after a touchline turnover that gifted them good field position and finished in the corner, unconverted, 3-5. The match had some edge to it and there were some flashpoints during the game, one such incident on 20 minutes saw Jack Housman sent to the bin for retaliation against the Bradford no.4 who was given a red card for his part. The ensuing penalty was converted by Captain Smith, 6-5.

Five minutes later after some great handling in slippery conditions, Jake Boardman, playing fullback this week, was able to cross over in the corner for his first of two tries of the afternoon. Eight minutes later the debutant replacing Jake on the wing, Joe Rose scored his first 1st team try for the club, again at the end of a good passing movement entailing Alex Calvert (debutant), Boardman and Holmes. Just before halftime after some fantastic goal-line defence from the Beverley pack, Bradford were able to push over for a converted try which finished the half 18-12.

The visitors drew first blood in the second half and took the lead from a try & conversion, 18-19. Were Beverley going to capitulate and let the game slip, as they might have done earlier in the season? No, an impressive all-round pack performance was exemplified by man of the match Louis Frear who charged down a goal line clearing kick which allowed the quick-footed Smith to fall onto the ball, for a try he duly converted. This buoyed the home team, who didn’t look back.

Boardman scored his second on 68 minutes, and Alex Calvert was able to score on his 1st team debut after impressive scrum pressure to seal the result, both converted by Smith, final score 39-19.

Although a pleasing result and performance, the cost was high. Reckless/violent tackles throughout the game saw Bradford dispatch Aiden Calvert with a concussion and ended the seasons of Jack Dixon (Hooker) and Jacob Baggs (Winger) both of which have broken collar bones. We wish all players well and thank them for their conviction. Next game is on 10th December, back on the road for a visit to Dinnington, although with a weakened squad.

Brian Gilbert