Beverley ARLFC 34-40 Skirlaugh

The Blue and Golds will claim something of a moral victory last Saturday in this high scoring encounter at the Leisure Centre. Illnesses and a stag weekend had robbed Tony Spence of a number of his front-line players forcing him to through a few youngsters in at the deep end. Not a man normally pleased with a defeat he commented ” Our young players such as Callum Bielby, Joe Rose, Isaac Merryweather, Josh Hamlyn, and Francis Coggle were on a steep learning curve today and the experience will have done them a power of good. All 17 players contributed today, and it would have been interesting what the result would have been if some of the marginal decisions had gone our way.”

After an early attacking set came to nothing for the home side the visitors took the lead courtesy of a Josh Steward try improved by Ryan Hilton. As Beverley attempted to hit back, they threw a speculative pass which was intercepted by Nathan Slater who raced 70 meters to score. Ryan Hilton added the extras to put Skirlaugh 12-0 up after 7 minutes with the writing seemingly on the wall. However, Lewis Miller leapt up to regain possession from the restart. In the resulting set, Josh Poskitt sidestepped inside to touch down but was ruled to have not grounded the ball properly. In the 15th minute, Billy Riby made no mistake, when pouncing on a Lewis Straw kick into the in-goal area, to touch down. Josh Poskitt converted. It got better for the hosts in the 20th minute when a break from deep by Alex Calvert sent the supporting Josh Poskitt away to score. Straw this time adding the extras.
The home side’s tendency to concede penalties and some borderline forward pass decisions against them did let their opponents off the hook at the time towards the end of the first time. Skirlaugh took advantage and added scores from Locklin Fitzgerald and Joe Gay both improved by Hilton, to lead 24-12 at the interval. The home side also went down to 12 men in the 38th minute when Bobby Howdle was sin-binned.

Beverley did force a line drop-out from the second half kick-off. The attacking set did not produce points, but the momentum was there. Aided by a few successive penalties they made the pressure tell. A quick tap from one such penalty saw Francis Coggle go over under the posts in the 44th minute for Straw to convert. Moments later a towering bomb saw Lewis Miller leap up to catch and pass inside to supporting players, but the ball went to ground with the line beckoning and the momentum was lost. The middle part of the second half did see the game go away from the home side as they had to do a little too much defending. Matty Sheard, Nathan Slater and Ryan Hilton all added touchdowns with 2 conversions from Hilton to lead 40-18.
With only 12 minutes remaining, plus a significant amount of stoppage time due to a head wound for Alex Calvert receiving attention, a heavy defeat seemed likely. The home side refused the wave the white flag. In the 72nd minute, some quick hands to the right with the influence of Joe Morley saw Josh Poskitt dive over in the corner for his second try. The extras were not added but Lewis Miller then broke away to score in the 78th minute. Josh Poskitt converted to further reduce the arrears to 28-40. As the game went into stoppage time a break from deep by Lewis Miller saw his inside pass go to Billy Riby. Riby had an impressive game in the centre and raced away from the cover to go in behind the posts for his second of the afternoon. Straw converted to make the score 34-40. There was still a few more minutes of stoppage time with the home side pressing but they could not force another score which would have possibly levelled the scores.

Beverley 34 (12)
Tries: Riby 2, J.Poskitt 2, Coggle, Miller. Goals: J.Poskitt 2, Straw 3.

Skirlaugh 40 (24)
Tries: Stewart, Slater 2, Fitzgerald, Gay, Sheard, Hilton. Goals: Hilton 6.

Report by Nick Robinson. (

Published – 11th July 2021