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Local Rugby Union: Goal-kicking the difference as Beverley exit Yorkshire Shield
BEVERLEY 32 – 34 MOORTOWN (Saturday November 10)
A close run thing, but Beverley eventually went out of the Yorkshire Shield. It was a high scoring and absorbing game throughout and in the end there were only two points in it. Perhaps the relevant factor was that while Beverley’s scores all came from their own exertions, every Moortown point resulted directly from a Beverley error. Beverley should have won this match comfortably but simply gave it away through their own profligacy.
Given the way the home pack steamrolled its way at will through the first 20 minutes it was difficult to see any final outcome other than an easy Beverley victory. But it took only five minutes for Beverley to start producing their decisive errors. A loose pass in midfield from a good attacking position was easily intercepted by Moortown fly half Eddie Crosland, who galloped away from his own half to score a simple try, which he converted himself.
Despite being totally outplayed up front Moortown showed plenty of enterprise in their backs. Behind the scrum, young Colt William Dobson had an encouraging game for Beverley and Luke Hazell was his usual rampaging self, but as a unit the home backline spluttered all afternoon and some of the decision making was not very good.
Three times down the left a clear overlap was wasted by the ball not being released. Nonetheless, Beverley did get going with a try by Jack Houseman when the pack drove over from a penalty line-out and soon after took the lead with another drive to the line, with Isaac Keighley getting the touchdown.
A Beverley kick, again from an attacking position, was charged down and rebounded all the way to the corner, where Moortown lock Josh Nawanzie scored another giveaway try to put them 12-10 up at the interval.
Four minutes into the second half Beverley were at it again. A clearance kick failed to find touch and Moortown simply ran the ball back down the touchline for another try, scored by flanker Sheridan Farley, which Crosland converted.
Now two scores adrift, Beverley needed to up their game, which they promptly did. The impressive Alfie Hart-Fisher made a powerful break in midfield, leading to Dave Brant going over wide out for a try, which Rob Smith converted. Further Beverley pressure brought a try for Hazell after a nicely timed run down the middle by Dale Hodgson and Beverley were back in the lead at 22-19.
Again it was shortlived. Houseman fell foul of the referee near the Beverley line and was yellow carded. Moortown kicked to the corner and drove over from the line-out to regain the lead at 24-22. With the game going into its last quarter Beverley once more edged ahead with a try in the corner by substitute wing Steve Payne.
The forward game had evened out somewhat in the second half, but Beverley were playing some decent rugby and were now looking the likely winners. Unfortunately disaster was never far away. The ball went loose following a wild pass in the Beverley backline, Moortown hacked it on, and wing Gary Moorby had a simple touchdown to put them 31-27 back in the lead.
Only ten minutes left but Beverley were not done. They attacked with great fervour and were eventually rewarded with a well worked try from Danny Morris. Now 32-31 ahead and time practically up, surely, you felt, that must be that. But there was still time for one last twist in the tail. Direct from the restart kick Beverley promptly played the ball from an offside position and Crosland kicked the penalty to win the game for Moortown.
It is doubtful if Beverley will be unduly upset to have departed a cup competition in which clubs seem to be increasingly losing interest. Nonetheless it was a disappointment to have ended up with a defeat after such a close and hard-fought struggle. Perhaps in the end it came down to the varying success in goal kicking, Moortown being successful with four out of six kicks while Beverley could slot only one out of their six.