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LOCAL RUGBY LEAGUE: Beverley tough it out for another win

BEVERLEY 26  – 12 CLOCK FACE MINERS (Wednesday July 18)

This was a stormy affair in front of a big mid-week crowd at the Leisure Centre. There were three sin-binnings (2 home side and 1 the visitors) as passions ran high. For most of the first half, it seemed the visitors were going to put a dent in Beverley’s title bid as they pressured the home side into making errors and conceding penalties to lead 10-6 at the break.

Beverley coach Scott Taylor told us:  ”Again, I don’t think we were at our best and it was looking shaky at the break, but we refused to get drawn into the battle in the second half. We are not unbeaten for no reason and we backed ourselves and the tries came.”

The Merseysiders gave the ball plenty of air from the start and their right-winger, Jamie Jones, crossed in the corner for an unconverted try. A skirmish on the 17th minute saw Bobby Howdle picked out and sin-binned. Moments later, the visitors left-winger, Ian Webster, crossed in the other corner to put them 8-0 up.

The home side struggled to trouble their opponents in attack at this stage. But five minutes before the interval.Lee Stevens supplied the final pass to send Jack Humphries over. Josh Poskitt converted on his first game back from injury in two months. But on the stroke of half-time Clock Face added a penalty to extend their lead to 10-6.

Early in the second half, things again looked a little shaky for Beverley as Lee Stevens was sent to the sin-bin following a team warning. Ian Webster stroked over a penalty to make it 12-6. The turning point came on 52 minutes . . .  Jack Howdle was held up and a couple of plays later Jack Humphries did well to score his second despite the attentions of a flurry of defenders. Josh Poskitt levelled thing up with the kick before a Clock Face player was sin-binned for  a high tackle. Poskitt slotted over the resulting penalty to nudge Beverley ahead.

With confidence now growing, Lewis Poskitt’s towering bomb after 70 minutes was first caught by the Clock Face full-back but then lost. Billy Riby pounced to score to the high excitement of his team-mates. Poskitt added the extras and five minutes from time Ben Atkin pounced on a kick which caused confusion, to seal the points and Bobby Howdle to convert.

Beverley will now make trip to Oldham on Saturday to face Division 3 strugglers Waterhead Warriors. Two victories from their last six games are now required for the title.