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Rugby Union: Beavers go fourth after 40-7 win

Beverley RUFC 40  v  7 Bradford (Saturday, October 28)

Bradford Salem started this match in a manner which belied their lowly league position and Beverley were put under extreme pressure for the opening 10 minutes. The Bradford forwards were swarming all over them, albeit usually from suspiciously looking offside positions, and they were unable to escape from their own 22 and hold on to the ball for long.

However, the Beavers’ defence was sound and eventually they did manage to settle down and string together some good moves.

After 15 minutes they were rewarded when a slick passing move through the backs resulted in a try for centre James Graham which, into a stiff wind, Phil Duboulay was unable to convert (5-0). Immediately afterwards, a lovely piece of play in midfield between Luke Hazell and Jacob Holmes looked certain to end in a try but, unfortunately, the latter slipped and the chance went.

On 27 minutes Will Harrison became the Beverley 1st XV’s leading try scorer with a try close to the posts which Phil Duboulay converted to make it 12 points to 0. Both sides were struggling against the strengthening wind and after 33 minutes a lost ball in front of the Beverley posts led to a scrambled Salem try from hooker Gundard Griekis, which was converted by Andy Robinson to reduce the lead to 12 points to 7.

Beverley hit back within five minutes with a strong forward drive up in the right hand corner  and Isaac Keighley managed to get the touch down and Phil Duboulay converted from wide out with a magnificent kick (19-7).

The second half started with Beverley taking advantage of the wind and they camped in Bradford’s 22 for 15 minutes, during which time they had three tries ruled out as being held up.

Eventually, however, Jacob Holmes threaded his way through the Bradford defence to score the bonus point fourth try for the Beavers, which Phil Duboulay again converted to make the score 26-7 and the game look safe.

On 60 minutes winger Steve Payne went over for his first try for the club and Phil Duboulay again converted to make it 33-7. Beverley were now totally in control as Bradford Salem tired visibly and five minutes from the end Lewis Starbuck completed the job with a try beside the posts to which Phil Duboulay added the extras (40-7).

The windy conditions resulted in a scrappy affair but Beverley still managed to put together a workmanlike display to achieve the result and move up to fourth place in the league table.