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Beverley Rugby League: Confidence high for Blue & Golds

BEVERLEY 30 EAST HULL 16

By Nick Robinson

This was, in the final analysis, a very professional performance from the Blue & Golds. They refused to panic when trailing 10-0 after 20 minutes and fought back to grow in confidence and momentum as  the game went on.

A very pleased head coach Scott Taylor said: ” We now need Batley Boys to do us a favour next week and beat Bentley and if that happens and we come fourth we are in form at the right time of the season and maybe we are the dark horses to win the Grand Final.”

The opening quarter of the game saw the visitors seemingly have the measure of their opponents. Although the home side enjoyed no shortage of possession and territory, they found the Easts defence very difficult to breach, especially close to the goal line. The star performer for Easts, James Higgingbottom, gave them the lead with a converted try after five minutes.

The hosts attempted to reply and a long ball from Lewis Straw was knocked down by an Easts player going for the interception. The repeat set saw them force a line drop-out, but another repeat set saw them fail to capitalise; albeit going agonisingly close.

In yet another raid Ryan Watkin, who was Beverley’s most impressive forward, was unlucky to be held up over the line in the 15th minute.

All such pressure was absorbed by the visitors and in a countering attack winger Lee Hall extended their lead with an unconverted try in the corner.

Beverley finally got themselves on the scoreboard on 27 minutes when a smart switch in the direction of play by Lewis Poskitt saw him get a pass away to send leading try scorer Alex Calvert over. The extras could not be added

The pendulum, however, was now switching in favour of the home side and Bobby Howdle  broke from deep and got a pass away to Lewis Straw, who had the ball stripped in a two-man tackle. The resultant penalty saw more pressure applied, which ended in Jack Howdle forcing his way over for Straw to convert.

Lewis Poskitt had a superb afternoon both with ball in hand and kicking. One such kick on the last play saw him kick from deep and a good chase from Josh Poskitt saw him corner the receiving Easts player and drag him into touch. The resultant attacking set was well defended by Easts and the two sides went to break level at 10-10.

An early second half chance for Beverley saw a Josh Poskitt show and go, and a pass to Lewis Straw saw him kick ahead. Josh Poskitt chased and appeared to have won the race to the ball but was ruled to have grounded the ball over the dead ball line.

A dangerous looking raid by Easts then followed, with Billy Riby doing well to knock the ball dead as a kick on the last was given good chase.

Moments later, as Beverley attacked, a towering bomb from Lewis Straw saw an Easts defender fumble it and knock it into the hands of another Easts player in an offside position. Beverley elected to go for goal and Josh Poskitt stroked over the penalty to nose Beverley ahead 12-10.

The try of the match soon followed as Lewis Poskitt sold at least two dummies to fox the visitors’ defence to race over with barely a hand laid on him. Josh Poskitt converted.

Shortly after a speculative kick by Steve Connolly kick saw it strike an Easts defender, only for it to dolly up into the grateful hands of Lewis Poskitt for his second try. Josh Poskitt again tacking on the extras.

Beverley did lose possession from the re-start kick and the visitors threatened a reply. Some strong defending on the Easts danger man James Higginbottom saw the ball come loose just as it seemed he was about to score under the posts.

In the 65th minute the game was put beyond doubt when Alex Calvert supplied the final pass for Jack Howdle to add his second try wide out. Straw converting. A consolation try was added by Joe Russle 10 minutes from time for Easts. The score was the final act of a very entertaining encounter with no shortage of incident which kept the big crowd enthralled on a pleasant early September afternoon.

Should results go their way Beverley are likely to be facing a semi-final trip to Batley Boys in a fortnight. Club officials will be anxiously waiting as there is no league match next week due to Doncaster Toll Bar’s withdrawal. The club have put out feelers about a friendly but nothing has yet being arranged at the time of going to press.