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LOCAL RUGBY LEAGUE: Beverley go top with third win

BEVERLEY 25 OLDHAM ST ANNES 14 (Saturday March 24)

The Blue & Golds went to the top of NCL Division 3 just ahead of Clock Face Miners by virtue of a superior points difference. They remain the only two  sides with a 100 per cent record in the division.

Beverley head coach Scott Taylor, however, was once again slightly playing down the win. He commented: ”Well done to the boys. making it three from three. There were a few sloppy moments but I asked for a response in the second half and I think I got it.

“We need to keep it rolling and as  new boys to the league we need to keep sending out those messages.”

The visiting Lancashire outfit certainly contributed to which was, for the most part, a tight and absorbing contest. An early attacking set was well defended by the home side and as they worked the ball out of defence a long break by Peter Starling set up some good field position. Alex Calvert took advantage to charge over from close range for Straw to convert.

Beverley’s lead was short-lived, however, as four minutes later the visitors kicked towards the corner and Callum Cashin pounced to score wide out. The extras were tacked on to level the scores.

The lead was soon restored as Trevor Penrose, drafted in at short notice due to Luke Inglis withdrawing with a ham-string strain in training, forced his way over again from just a few meters out. Straw again converted the try, which was reward for set completion.

As the interval fast approached a kick downfield by St Annes was well fielded by Ben Bardle who did well to evade defenders and get a pass away to Lewis Poskitt who evaded yet more defenders before being pulled up. With good field position, Lewis Straw stroked over a drop-goal to extend Beverley’s lead at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half the home side looked to turn the screw as the lead was extended further. Lewis Poskitt fed Lewis Straw, whose long ball found Peter Starling lurking out wide. The centre finished lethally out wide but the extras could not be added.

The game became attritional until a 66th minute penalty was stroked over from Josh Poskitt to open up a  three score lead.

Any lingering doubts were extinguished eight minutes from time. Peter Starling finished off a swift passing movement to the left to round off a man of the match performance. Straw converted to extend the lead to 25-6.

The visitors got some consolation with two minutes to go, with a rare eight point try. Ryan Powell dived over and was infringed in the act of scoring, giving Matty Whitehead an extra shot at goal to pull the scores back to 25-14.

Overall, it was another pleasing afternoon in which the official man of the match Peter Starling was run close by Alex Starling, Alex Calvert, Billy Riby and Lee Stevens.