Pontefract 22-3 Beverley
Beverley travelled to Pontefract with some small hope of victory, knowing they were struggling to source players and set-piece formations and were coming up against a revitalised Pontefract team who was sitting third in the table, much higher than Beverley. Both teams were further impeded by some very poor weather. Gales of over 60 mph, sub-zero wind chill temperatures, with only the briefest of respites between sleet storms pelleting in from side angles and stinging the skin, just added to the challenge.
Showing great endeavour, a committed Beverley team did fall to defeat to the home team, who were better on the day, 22-3. Almost all the ball was held in the hands of the home team, proving the cliché to be true that you cannot win a game of rugby without possession. There was significant periods of the game that Beverley found themselves pinned down in their own half, and having to defend resolutely, which the handful of travelling fans appreciated. A makeshift Beverley team certainly did themselves proud against stronger opposition, playing at home.
The first converted try came after 20 minutes to the home team flyhalf after constant pressure from the kick-off. This pressure was partly due to the issuance of a yellow card harshly awarded to Dan Lee who knocked the ball forward on a Pontefract attacking play, deemed to be deliberate. 10 minutes later Beverley clawed back with their only points of the afternoon a converted penalty from Phil Duboulay. The conditions certainly didn’t help Beverley, known for their fastbacks and slick hands, when it did go to hand, it finished with handling errors, regardless of which team had the ball. The Beverley forwards however were matching man for man against a much bigger pack, and winning some good ball at the breakdowns and set pieces. 7 – 3 at half-time to Pontefract.
Ten minutes into the second half, a converted penalty followed eight minutes later with a try, unconverted to the home team took the game away from Beverley, given they were facing into the wind and going up the hill on a very heavy pitch, although the Beavers never conceded defeat and showed determination and grit that was missing from earlier games this season. Pontefract 15 Beverley 3. In the last 20 minutes, Beverley did actually enjoy some possession after a series of infringements that led to a yellow card for the home team. But with five minutes to go the home team took advantage of the wind, kicking very long from deep in their own half, the ensuing 70m kick chase was dotted down to seal the victory 22 – 3.
Beverley held their heads high after the whistle and in the clubhouse whilst having a drink, and getting warmer. There were standout performances from Danny Morris, Callum Harvey (man of the match), Logan McKenzie and Dan Lee, but every other unmentioned player wore their hearts on the sleeve and tackled doggedly for the full game. A game that marked the last match in charge for our head coach Sam Kerry, who leaves the club to focus on soon-to-be expanding family duties, and with our very best and most sincere wishes for the future from all of your friends and family at Beverley RUFC. You will always be welcome at Beaver Park, thank you for your excellent service.
Report by: Brian Gilbert