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Update on Beverley Rugby League
BEVERLEY RUGBY LEAGUE BY NICK ROBINSON
The Blue and Golds’ 2017 season has just drawn to a close and the club has been taking stock at its latest monthly meeting. On the field, the club again finished fourth in the Yorkshire Men’s League but went one better this season in reaching the Grand Final.
The semi-final victory at the previously unbeaten Batley Boys was undoubtedly the performance of the season and indeed the best in many a year. Further grounds for optimism is the average age of the first team squad that Head Coach Scott Taylor and Director of Rugby Pat Howdle have assembled. Very few are over the age of 25 and Luke Shaw and Luke Inglis, aged 18 and 19 respectively, emerged as two fine prospects in 2017. Indeed two of Beverley’s most influential and pivotal players in Jack Howdle and Lewis Poskitt are still only 23 and 24.
An ‘A’ team was entered in the YML Entry League in 2017, playing just a handful of fixtures on an ad-hoc basis. The club intends to enter its ‘A’ in a formalised league next season; that being possibly Yorkshire Division 5 or the Alliance League. Phil Horsfield has been appointed as ‘A’ team coach and will shortly announce an assistant. This should add strength in depth for 2018.
Beverley’s most notable progress has been off the field where income is up from all sources. Sponsorships are up and so to are fund-raising activities. The club held two very successful fund-raising evenings at the Potting Shed which featured musical entertainment from ‘This Way Up’ . A successful Golf Day was held at Hornsea Golf Club and the Sportsman’s Dinner held at Lazatt was the most profitable yet, with over 220 guests attending.
Crowds are up as the club have created a really atmospheric match-day experience since the opening of the Potting Shed overlooking the pitch.
It is no secret that the club is aspiring to National Conference League status (NCL). Last month the club submitted an expression of interest to the NCL and were visited by NCL officials, who inspected the facilities. They were thought to be favourably impressed by the pleasant location of the ground. They promised to come back with their findings and recommendations by next month. Director of Rugby Pat Howdle commented: ”The squad has youth on its side and there is no better time to move up to the next level.”
The club’s rising profile has meant more work and it is set to announce a strengthening of the committee at it’s AGM in December, with some new positions created. Playing, of course, is now at a quiet time of the year, although light training will shortly resume on Thursday evenings, using the Longrcoft artificial surface. Pre-season friendlies are likely to be planned in January/February ahead of a March start, by which time fixtures will have been published for either the NCL or YML.