Roundhegians 36-14 Beverley

Not one of Beverley’s better days. They were unlucky in that the rub of the green throughout seemed to go against them but they were nonetheless well beaten here by a more determined and better-organised side. Had Beverley played with the same finesse and vigour as they did in the thrilling victory against Huddersfield YMCA they would almost certainly have won this game comfortably. As it was there were far too many careless errors, too many lost lineouts, and the slick movement of the previous week was never quite there. The gloomy damp conditions, as well as what looked a fairly narrow pitch, probably did not help and were certainly not conducive to Beverley’s preferred open running game.

They started well enough. Phil Duboulay kicked a penalty to put them ahead after ten minutes and for a quarter of an hour they had the better of the play. But two converted tries in quick succession from either wing suddenly put Roundhegians in the driving seat at 14-3. Beverley had their chances but the backline in particular, so impressive the week before, spluttered and failed to make any impact, largely through wayward passing and handling.

Beverley fought hard to get back into the game but they fell further behind from a penalty in front of the posts. Almost immediately the home side then found themselves on the receiving end of a gifted try when Beverley made a mess of dealing with a long Roundhegians kick downfield and their wing had the simple task of chipping up to the line and touching down.

At 22-3 down it was already looking ominous for Beverley but a converted try just before halftime by Duboulay following a strong burst by Mark Hodgson brought them back into it. Duboulay almost immediately added a second penalty-taking it to 22-13 at the break which left Beverley within two tries of taking the lead and still with a reasonable chance of victory.

Sadly within five minutes of the start of the second half, another Beverley calamity produced a second gifted try for the home side when Roundhegians kicked upfield to the corner where Beverley failed to deal with it and the home winger pounced to score. The conversion from the touchline took it to 29-13, not insurmountable but clearly now an uphill struggle for Beverley. In truth, they never really looked like getting back into it and most of the second half was spent in their own half.

There were several isolated individual forays from the backs but they came to nothing.  Roundhegians were able to comfortably snuff out the Beverley attacks and in response kicked well themselves to keep Beverley penned back. Realistically it was all up for Beverley. Duboulay kicked a third penalty but the longer the game went on the less they looked likely to score any points let alone enough needed to win the game.

With a quarter of an hour left Roundhegians struck a final blow with a diagonal kick over the Beverley defence which their wing was first on to leaving him with an easy run-in for his third try. Not quite another giveaway but not far off it. Beverley never gave up trying to stage a late turn-around but the openings would not come and there was by now a weary acceptance among the travelling supporters that this was just not going to be Beverley’s day. In the final quarter, the game as a spectacle more or less fizzled out until the referee mercifully brought it to a close in the increasing drizzle and near darkness.

John Nursey