Bradford Dudley Hill 10-6 Beverley
The Blue and Golds came up short in this tense struggle in Bradford on Saturday. Traffic congestion on the final few junctions of the M62 before the Bradford turn-off caused them to arrive with a very limited preparation time.
The story of the afternoon was the home side holding possession long enough and getting enough repeat sets to deny Beverley any real sustained pressure on their line. Despite limited attacking play by the two sides, it was in many ways an absorbing contest by 2 relegation haunted sides desperate for the points.
Newly installed Head Coach Joe Morley commented “I cannot say that in all honesty that any of us did not put our bodies on the line this afternoon but we were just a little dumb at times.”
After some very early pressure on the visitor’s line, the home side took the lead courtesy of a Damian Smith try from close range. The conversion was missed and the score remained at 4-0. It was all hands to the pump for the visitors as the hosts aided by penalties and set restarts piled on the pressure, especially up the middle of the field. It also took it toll as numerous players had to be attended to for injuries.
Clean breaks were at a premium for the visitors and their best chance was just before the half-time whistle. Bobby Howdle broke free from deep, kicked ahead but a home defender was on hand to kick the ball dead and snuff out the danger.
The early minutes of the second half saw the visitors enjoy a little more of the play. A set close to the Dudley Hill line saw charges at the line by Bobby Howdle and Ellis Dickinson. The former being held up over the line and the latter seeing the ball slip from his grasp in heavy traffic over the visitor’s line.
Having absorbed the early second-half onslaught, the visitors got up the other end of the field and extended their lead. Aiden Batey crossed and converted by Ryan Dickinson to make it 10-0 in the 50th minute.
Seeing the game now slipping away, the visitors showed more urgency in attack. A good run from Alex Nuttall set up the position for a handling movement to the right which saw Luke Parker cross wide out. Josh Poskitt converted to reduce the arrears to 6-10 after 55 minutes.
There were to be a few more chances for the visitors in the closing quarter of the game. After Lewis Poskitt’s kick was fumbled by the opposition. The resulting repeat set saw Callum Bielby denied as he was held up over the line despite his protestations that he had grounded the ball. The 70th minute saw Lewis Poskitt send Josh Poskitt away in the clear but the centre was pulled back for a forward pass. Minutes later a shift of the ball to the left saw Callum Bielby break clear only for the opposing cover defence get across to drag him into touch as the line beckoned.
The visitors were unable to snatch the game and it was a missed opportunity as their near rivals in the table Dewsbury Moor were defeated. They remain second bottom in the table. Beverley’s man of the match deservedly went to Alex Nuttall who ground out the yards well all afternoon against a bulkier opposition.