Dewsbury Celtic 18-20 Beverley
Beverley ARLFC gave themselves a huge lift with this very hard-earned victory in Dewsbury and ended a 6 game-losing streak. It has been a difficult 8 days for the club and they have managed to salvage something in adversity. Reflecting on this, Joe Morley’s commented “You’ve put your bodies on the line for this club in these past 3 games and you got your rewards today. There is much to build on for next year.”
It was a dream start for the visitors as they played their best rugby for some time in the opening quarter of the game. The 10th minute saw the ball given some air to the left for Owen Jones-Barker to squeeze in at the corner. The extras were not added but very shortly after Ellis Dickinson crashed over beneath the posts for Joe Dobson to convert. As the pack looked dominant, Casey Hutchinson slipped a peach of a pass away to Bobby Howdle who was pulled up short. Quick hands to the right then saw Joe Dobson send Jon Norman over in the corner. The extras could not be added but the Beverley found themselves 14-0 up after only 20 minutes.
The visitors looked to be adding more points as they forced line drop-outs and repeat sets but perhaps became a little too adventurous. A pass was intercepted by Jordan Hirst for him to race 80 meters upfield and touch down for the home side after 26 minutes. Soon after another speculative pass went to ground and saw Lewis Teale race away from a similar distance to touch. Charlie Heaton converted both scores. Half-time sounded with Beverley’s lead reduced to 14-12.
The second half was a tense war of attrition. It would be unfair to not mention every member of the pack that ground out some hard yards. Ellis Dickinson, Casey Hutchinson, Josh Pooley, Alex Nuttall, Dan Norman, Daryl Gregory and Steve Connolly were all in there. Man of the match Bobby Howdle led the charge with those constant menacing runs particularly out of dummy half. The way Beverley diffused the Celtic kicking game was also a contributor to the result. Some difficult high balls and kicks down the slope were well taken by Charlie Gay and Joe Rose who often returned them with interest.
Early in the second half, the home side took the lead courtesy of a Jack Kelly try, goaled by Charlie Heaton. Now trailing 18-14 the visitors refused to allow their heads to go down.
In the 65th minute, in a move demonstrating a return to some of his best form, Lewis Poskitt’s dummy and break saw him draw the full-back and send Owen Jones-Barker away for his second try. The difficult conversion could not be added but the scores were level at 18-18.
There was a failed drop-goal attempt by the home side before the crucial moment of the game. A high tackle on Lewis Poskitt saw a penalty awarded with 10 minutes remaining. Charlie Gay stepped up to convert the attempt just to the left of the posts and around 35 meters out.
Leading 20-18, the visitors closed the game down very well in the remaining minutes with Lewis Poskitt’s kicking game ensuring the home side often started their sets ten meters from their own goal line.
Dewsbury Celtic 18 (12)
Tries: J.Hirst, L.Teale, J.Kelly. Goals: C.Heaton (3).
Beverley 20 (14)
Tries: O.Jones-Barker (2), E.Dickinson, J.Norman. Goals: J.Dobson, C.Gay.