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Local Rugby League: Tough game, but Beverley take the points

BEVERLEY ARLFC 22 – 18 WOOLSTON ROVERS (Saturday July 14)

The Blue & Golds kept their unbeaten league record intact, but it was again very much put to the test. Woolston Rovers came to the Leisure Centre in good form, having won three on the bounce and determined to put a dent in Beverley’s title hopes. They brought a robust pack and, on another hot afternoon, it was very much about both sides toughing it out.

Crucially, the visitors failed to take advantage of Beverley going down to 12 men just before half-time when Louis Hubbard spent ten minutes in the bin for a shoulder charge. Indeed, Beverley crossed twice for tries during this period.

Director of Rugby Pat Howdle commented: ”We had to grind it out; it wasn’t pretty but that’s two points nearer the title.”

The Cheshire outfit had the better of the opening exchanges and their right-winger almost scored when catching a cross-field kick. He was well policed by his opposite number and just put a foot in touch at the last moment. Fresh on his return, Lewis Poskitt then gave Beverley the lead with a typical dummy and a shimmy to score under the posts for Riby to convert after 13 minutes.

The restart kick went dead, giving the visitors a dangerous attacking set, which ended in them being pulled back for a forward pass. Moments later, Harry Files made no mistake when sneaking over from dummy half to score for Woolston and Will Chadwick goaded to level things up with the kick.

There was then some missed chances for the hosts. Poskitt jinked his way through to send Sam Brown clear, only to have the pass ruled forward. Also Jack Howdle put Alex Starling through a gap only for the ball to come loose over the line.

Passions ran high towards the end of the half, culminating in Hubbard’s sin-binning. Will Chadwick stroked over a penalty to put the visitors 8-6 up at the break.

Beverley started the second half eager to put things to bed. Quick hands to the left sent Sam Brown over in the corner. The extras were not added but shortly after Bobby Howdle’s run then sent Lewis Poskitt over for his second. Bobby Howdle this time converting. With the score at 16-8 the game became attritional.

In the 64th minute Josh Sudlow crossed for the visitors, converted by Chadwick, to set up a tense finish. Five minute from time, Tom Moor looked to have sealed the points for Beverley when sneaking over from dummy-half, but the visitors had other ideas. Cameron Davies crossed for try with injury time looming. The visitors forfeited the conversion attempt to save time but two minutes of stoppage time was not enough for them to force another score.

Man of the match was Bobby Howdle, who set up one try and worked himself to a standstill. It was a day for the forwards and the long-serving Lee Stevens continues to play some of his best rugby for the club grinding out the hard yards.

Beverley will now face Clock Face Miners this Wednesday evening (kick-off 7.15pm) at the Leisure Centre in a rearranged fixture.