Beverley 7-15 Goole

Not a day to remember. Or at any rate not for the rugby. Persistent heavy rain and a fierce downfield wind meant that from start to finish this game never developed into anything much more than a relentless forward slog. Expansive running rugby was out of the question. On a dry day, this might have been an enthralling encounter between these old rivals. Goole arrived on the back of an upturn in form and an impressive victory the previous week against the league leaders. Beverley for their part have been steadily improving over recent weeks and their back division on its day is possibly now as dangerous as any in Yorkshire One. Goole emerged here as eventual winners mainly by virtue of their big meaty forwards increasingly gaining dominance with powerful running and keeping the play tight. Back play today was inevitably at a premium and there was not much of it.

For the opening ten minutes, Beverley scarcely ever had the ball in their hands. When they did, at last, get a chance to attack they made it count with a fine try with what turned out to be the only effective back move of the match. Phil Duboulay made a lovely break in midfield, took play up to the Goole 22 and set up wing Jacob Baggs for a powerful finish under the posts. Duboulay converted to put Beverley seven points up. A nice break by Rob Smith nearly brought another try but as the half wore on with the ball now little more than a like a bar of soap Goole steadily gained the upper hand and Beverley increasingly found the close play and powerful driving of their big forwards harder to cope with.  A yellow card for Danny Morris shortly before the break did not help. 

For long periods play became bogged down in the Beverley corner and only courageous defending kept Goole out. Eventually, on the stroke of halftime, the home line was pierced and Goole went over for an equalising converted try under the posts.  Levelling it all up at the break was probably no less than Goole deserved.

In the second half, it continued to be largely one-way traffic. For much of it, Beverley struggled to get out of their own half. They could get little possession and when they did they frequently lost it too easily. A succession of needless penalties, frequently for holding on after being tackled, added to their problems. Yet they continued to hold their opponents at bay until eventually, they offered Goole a penalty chance at goal which the visitors slotted to take a 10-7 lead. 

With Goole now in total dominance, it looked likely that a losing bonus point was going to be the best Beverley could hope for. They did occasionally get into the opposing 22 but a try never really looked likely. Goole were invariably soon pounding away at the other end and with time slipping away they denied Beverley even a losing bonus point with another rumble over in the corner by their forwards.

For spectators heroically withstanding the elements from the touchline, the end could not come soon enough. When it came at last there could be no denying that Goole had fully deserved the win. Beverley could only reflect that on a dry day in firm running conditions it might have been a different matter. With what little possession they had had the Beverley backs certainly looked the sharper and had produced the only significant move of the game. But all in all, probably the only real winners on the day were those who had remained in the clubhouse and watched the Six Nations games on television.

John Nursey