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LOCAL RUGBY LEAGUE: Defeat, but decent show by Beverley

BEVERLEY ARLFC 18 –  34 MYTON WARRIORS (Saturday January 20)

This first of three pre-season warm-up games proved to be a very useful workout for the Blue & Golds, who will take a lot out of it, as, of course, will the opposition. It proved to be the ideal  preparation for both ahead of their respective Challenge Cup ties against Shaw Cross and Leigh Miners.

As is usual in pre-season matches, both sides were allowed unlimited substitutions. Beverley gave game time to 22 players.

The home side sit three divisions below their Premier Division opponents, but for the first half at least it would have been difficult to tell them apart. Beverley coach Scott Taylor commented: ”Errors and discipline cost us in the second half but if we can put that right then we can look forward to the season ahead.”

The visitors went straight on the attack after regaining possession immediately after kicking off. But a dangerous long pass was intercepted by Lewis Straw, who sprinted up-field but was chased down in the opposing 20 metre zone. The hosts threw the ball around sensing Myton were on the ropes and Ben Bardle wandered inside from his wing to take a pass to score. Lewis Straw added the extra points.

The visitors threatened a reply and a move to the left saw their wingman spill the ball as the line beckoned wide out. They did get on level terms when a clever kick on the last tackle saw Nathan Slater touch down beneath the posts with extras added.

Shorty after, Beverley attempted to regain the lead as they shipped the ball to the right. As the cover closed in, Josh Poskitt kicked inside and the chasing Luke Inglis trapped the opposing full back behind his own line to force a line drop-out. The repeat set produced no points.

Another raid by the visitors then forced Beverley to knock on attempting to go for the interception. Direct from the scrum, a blind side move saw Lee James score out wide for Ash James to convert. The score remained at 12-6 in favour of Myton at the interval.

The early moments of the second half saw the extra guile and experience of the visitors pay dividends. Nathan Slater and Adam Piggott added scores that were both converted by Ash James to stretch their lead to 24-6. Beverley’s reply was quick as man-of-the-match Bobby Howdle sneaked away from dummy half to score. Straw converted. However, thoughts of a comeback were soon dashed.

Kris Walker very soon went over after a clever and intricate handling movement, Ash James again converting. Lee James then added a further score to stretch the Hull outfit’s lead to 34-12.

Beverley did finish the game strongly despite being down to 12 men following Steve Connolly’s sin-binning. Fitness is unlikely to be an issue this campaign as the tough pre-season regime looks to be doing the trick.

Three minutes form time a strong burst from debutant Charlie D’Arcy set up the position for Tom Moor to go over from dummy half. The extras were added to peg the scores to a respectable and commendable 18-34. There were some sterling efforts, especially in the forwards. Jack Howdle played big minutes. Bradley Kirkby and Louis Hubbard also caught the eye when on the pitch but Bobby Howdle overwhelmingly took the man of the match vote.

The  Paul for Brain Recovery trophy was awarded to Myton Warriors by its charity’s  founder. The charity aids the recovery of stroke, tumour and head injury victims.