Beverley 42-29 West Leeds

Beverley RUFC managed to lift themselves up to 5th in the Counties 1 Yorkshire League after an entertaining match at Beaver Park against West Leeds. Both teams played inconsistently throughout the 80 minutes, but the neutrals will have found this an entertaining try-fest. Lack of structure and plenty of mistakes will have left both coaching teams frustrated, final score 42-29.

Very early in the game the opening incident was the gash to the nose of Mike Melhuish, the Beverley No.8. It was convenient it was early as it gave him enough time to go to the hospital and return to play the last 10 minutes – great commitment! A couple of minutes later after play resumed, a good passing move gave winger Jacob Baggs the opportunity to crash over in the corner. He still had plenty to do but showed great strength to open the scoring for the home team.

Fifteen minutes passed before Jake Boardman, playing Centre, managed to break the line and interchange well with Luke Hazel to beat the second line of defence for Boardman to score the first of three tries for the afternoon, 10-0 to Beverley. On 30 minutes captain Rob Smith took the three points on offer from a scrum penalty, but on the stroke of half time our opponents struck back with a try of their own following a line out; half time 13-5.

West Leeds were buoyed by the fact that they were still in the game at half time and although they have been struggling this season, knew there was an opportunity and wanted to take it, and on 43 minutes they did with a well-worked crash over try, unconverted, 13-10. Seven minutes later Jacob Holmes who had switched with Jake Boardman at half-time to play Outside Centre was able to steady the nerves, with an unconverted try again with a good interchange with Luke Hazel. On 58 minutes Jake Boardman got his second try and then 4 minutes later his third in the corner after good interplay with Joe Slater and Rob Smith (who didn’t bring his kicking boots), both tries unconverted, and Beverley looked comfortable again with a 30-10 score line.

On 65 minutes the tide turned in favour of West Leeds when Mark Hodgson was sent off for a second yellow card offence, which the visitors immediately capitalised from in the next minute with a well-converted try. Beverley didn’t adapt well enough in going down to 14 men. Four minutes later another try under the posts to the visitors meant the score line was now 30-24 and with 10 minutes to go everything was to play for. A handling error at a kick return was what Beverley needed to steady the ship for the second time in the game, Jack Houseman crashing over, this time converted by Smith. West Leeds had one more try in them 2 minutes later which was indicative of the quality of the defending in the latter stages of the second half for both teams, but it was the Beavers that had the final say when Jacob Baggs ripped the ball from the Leeds attacker to finish the game under the posts, again unconverted, final score 42-29.

Head coach Craig Hancock was under no illusions this had been a good performance, and although Beverley can dazzle at times the team performance is lacking and we will need to be on better form for the next home game against Bradford Salem on 3rd December. In the lounge bar afterwards, Jacob Holmes was awarded man of the match and the patrons, 1st and 2nd teams drank one last toast to our friend and gentleman, Kevin Dean who we laid to rest the day before, RIP Kev.

Brian Gilbert