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Local rugby league: Hot stuff as Beverley grab last-minute point!
CLOCK FACE MINERS 26 – 26 BEVERLEY ARLFC (Saturday July 7)
A Sam Brown try in the dying minutes of this top of the table clash rescued a point for the Blue & Golds. The weather, in the former mining village on the outskirts of St Helens, was about as hot for playing as anyone at the club can remember. That said, all 34 players deserve a huge pat on the back for putting on such an exciting encounter.
Beverley’s coach Scott Taylor commented: ”We were perhaps not at our best, but I was pleased with the character we showed when going behind with ten minutes to go. We did not change our style of play and justed backed our ability.”
As the business end of the season approaches, with eight games to go, club officials are starting to do the mathematics. And with a vastly superior points difference, five wins from Beverley’s last eight games will almost certainly seal the title.
Taylor was forced to reshuffle his line-up with a number of players missing. Billy Riby had a start at stand-off half and a debut was handed to Nathan Collinson at scrum-half. The early minutes of the first half saw Beverley go about things in their usual clinical style. They raced to a 10-0 lead after 17 minutes with two Alex Starling tries, the first of which saw him sell an outrageous dummy to the full-back to score.
The home side, backed by vociferous support, were not to be outdone and pulled back two unconverted tries, courtesy of Mike Morgan and Luke Laidon. As half-time approached they went close to taking the lead as they got over the line, but a last ditch tackle by Ben Bardle saw the ball come free. The two sides headed for the shade at the break with Beverley 10-8 up.
Just three minutes into the second half, the visitors extended their lead. Slick handling to the right saw a neat reverse pass by Sam Coleman send Ben Bardle over in the corner. Billy Riby converted from the touch-line for a 16-8 lead. This was nearly extended when Alex Cavert sent Trevor Penrose over the line. Possession was lost in a three man tackle and there seemed a case for a penalty try being awarded. In the event a penalty was awarded that sailed wide.
In the 50th minute Sean Costello pulled back a converted try for the hosts to peg back the scores to 16-14.
Mid-way through the second half Nathan Collinson sent Riby scampering away to score and convert his own to restore the visitor’s eight point advantage at 22-14. The home side were not about to give up on this chance to dent the favourites for the title. Ben Rigby and Luke Laiden added converted tries to see the Merseysiders lead 26-22 with eight minutes to go.
Then, just as the referee was beginning to check his watch, two penalties on the trot gave Beverley the territory to move the ball to the left and send Sam Brown over. The match hinged on the conversion which just went wide.
Beverley’s man of the match was Jack Howdle, again playing a captain’s knock, but others, forwards Calvert, Stevens and Fletcher were not far behind as they ground out the yards in the heat.