Goole v Beverley 23rd Oct 2021
First of all I would like to acknowledge and thank Malcolm Cunningham who has decided to retire from writing match reports. His candour and concise reporting will be missed, we really appreciate all you have done in just one of many duties for the Beverley Rugby club over many years, thank you.
It is a cliché that local derby days are big games with high-stakes, but not in this instance. Both Beverley and Goole struggling at the wrong end of the table needed victory to get a foothold in the Yorkshire Division 1 season. The game was tense but entertaining played in great spirits, and a great atmosphere, unfortunately in what was a rollercoaster game Beverley did not take the spoils, losing narrowly 20-18 in a game that could have swung either way, and that had a game defining contentious moment.
After early pressure Beverley countered well with a quick break through the centre by the flyhalf Phil Duboulay, offloaded to Jake Boardman but unconverted. A few minutes later an offside penalty brought Goole back into the game, 3-5. Then came the match defining moment, in what appeared to everybody on the pitch and spectators to be a good tackle by the Beverley centre Louis Butler on 15 minutes, was deemed by the referee to be dangerously high head impacting tackle, which by the law book warranted a red card. It was fair to say everybody was stunned at the decision especially Butler who was gutted to receive his first-ever card, nevertheless it was time for Beverley to roll up their sleeves and battle for the next 65 minutes one man down.
The tide turned in favour of the home team, but it wasn’t until 32 minutes that the breakthrough came with a converted try for Goole, who also finished the half strongly, but Beverley were able to robustly defend their line to get to half-time 10-5 to the home team.
Beverley started the second half strongly having had time to reshape and regroup motivated by having been reduced to 14 players. From receiving the ball from the kick-off 16 phases later they were on the opponents try line but ended up capitalising with just a penalty for the tackler not releasing, converted by Duboulay, 10-8. On 58 minutes a second penalty this time for crossing was dispatched by Duboulay and Beverley took the lead for the second time, 10-11. The lead was pinched back a few minutes later for a sealing off penalty, 13-11. On 30 minutes Duboulay took advantage of a broken line, with an excellent break through the middle offloaded to the readily available Jake Boardman for him to finish near the posts making it an easy conversion, the lead then swinging back in favour of Beverley 13-18.
Goole were not done though and beginning to expose gaps in the tiring Beverley 14 defensive line, weakened also by injuries to Jacob Holmes (broken nose) and Dan Lee (knee). With three minutes to go Goole exploited a Beverley broken defensive line spreading the ball wide after a 10m offside penalty to dot down in the corner alongside the touchline, which was brilliantly converted to give the home team the lead again 20-18.
The determined men from Beverley though were not beaten just yet, and did well at the kick-off to reclaim the ball, remarkably in the last minute of the game a penalty was awarded for a side entry against Goole 45m out to the left, a tough kick by anybody’s standards. Man of the match Phil Duboulay stepped forward in an attempt to win the game, the accuracy was there but the length was not, kicking the ball into touch ended the game the crestfallen Beavers fell to their knees, whilst their opponents were ecstatic with their first win of the season.
A scrappy but entertaining game for all, which had lots of excitement and drama, Beverley showed improvement on the previous weeks performances, and the effort and heart was there to be seen, they will dust themselves down and be ready for the visit of Dinnington next week.