Beverley 8-22 Keighley

Beverley needed to put in a good performance and stop the rot against second-placed Keighley in the Yorkshire County 1 competition, having had three consecutive defeats. Unfortunately, although there were glimpses of good performance, the individual effort and team play was not good enough to overpower the West Yorkshire team who took 4 points away from Beaver Park after a convincing 8-22 victory.

The first half until the 39th minute was a stalemate, both teams having ball in the opposition half and a couple of notable line breaks which could have led to tries but the final execution was missing. Penalty conversions from Alex Brown and Beverley’s captain Rob Smith were the only points on the board, until the 39th minute that is when after being camped on the Beverley try line for five minutes, the away team were finally able to crash over after some resolute defending, close to the posts and easily converted. The referee then blew the half-time whistle, 3-10.

The last minute of the first half and the first five minutes of the second half were momentous regarding the game result. Beverley surely wanted to rally, but the visitors had other ideas and on 41 minutes took advantage of a gap in the line to make the break and then offload a couple of times to finish in the corner, well converted by Brown. Four minutes later after Beverley gave the ball away twice at consecutive lineouts, Keighley were able to capitalise again crashing over from a lineout maul which Beverley had no meaningful opposition against. Unconverted, and all of a sudden Beverley had a mountain to climb, and it didn’t look like they’d brought their climbing gear, 3-22.

With eight minutes to go Beverley did get over the try line for a consolation, James Graham capitalising on a loose ball, making a good line break, and then offloaded to the speedster Jake Boardman, who had Luke Hazell on his shoulder for the final pass and dot down in the corner, unconverted. Final score 8-22.

The atmosphere at Beaver Park was great, there were plenty of home and away fans and there was no quibbling whatsoever from the supporters or home team players who had been well beaten by a better team. It could be argued that for a six-minute spell across half-time Beverley could have won this game, but in reality, Beverley need to do the hard work, and play with heart and soul for each other if they are going to return to their winning ways at the beginning of the season. A good example of exactly that was the man of the match performer, once again Aidan Calvert. Next week an away trip to Leodiensian.

Brian Gilbert