Hartlepool Rovers 5 Beverley 27
Solo try for Wallis

Hartlepool Rovers 5 Beverley 27

By R&O - May 18 2006
Hartlepool Rovers could not handle a strong, well drilled and confident Beverley at the Friarage, going down to a disappointing home defeat.

The Whites were also unable to counter the spoiling tactics of their visitors who proved to be very adept at slowing the game down at every breakdown and after almost every decision by referee Peter Ashman and whose off the ball niggles left several Rovers’ players nursing knocks.


The match was further summed up when, despite these tactics, it was the hosts who won the yellow card count 2-1, although one or two Beverley players could have had no complaints had they ‘seen red.’


Visiting scrum half Ian Archibald put the first points on the board with a 2nd minute 27 metre penalty and his kicking was to prove exceptional as the afternoon wore on. His opposite number had a 39 metre chance after 11 minutes but Gareth Foreman’s kick was never going to threaten the target area.


Rovers found themselves in the right hand corner three minutes later but a turnover allowed Beverley to clear and a 30 metre rolling maul then pushed the hosts further back.


On 21 minutes, Fraley Hopra and Matthew Jones were both lucky to escape with just a lecture when they were guilty of some unruly behaviour at a ruck. The penalty allowed Rovers to counter and a cruel bounce from a Michael Walton kick robbed the intended targets of Andrew Foreman and Andrew Lilley of a possible score.


Three minutes later, and out of nothing, Beverley broke and a missed tackle on halfway saw Umberto Cuozzo race to the line and manage to ground the ball despite the despairing tackle of Andrew Foreman. Archibald’s excellent wide out conversion put his side 10-0 ahead.


Several dust ups then ensued with Mr. Ashman warning players but showing no cards, however, the Durham Society official brandished a yellow when David Worrall handled in a ruck two minutes before the break.


One sensed that it might not be Rovers’ day when Gareth Foreman somehow missed a front on 24 metre penalty three minutes after half time but from the 22 drop out the Friaragemen got a try. Steve Wallis stormed into the 22 and he then received the recycled ball to power to the line for a great solo effort. Gareth Foreman’s conversion from a similar position to his recent penalty sadly had the same end result. There was a further blow when skipper Mark Power was forced from the field, Simon Hall replacing him.


A neat break by Andrew Foreman on 47 minutes, carried on by Jason White, had the Tykes rattled and a try seemed certain when the ball was then spread along the backs with a Rovers’ numerical advantage but a momentary loss of momentum on the 22 saw Beverley snuff out the move.


On 59 minutes, Anthony Posa slotted a well struck 28 metre drop goal and within a couple of minutes Rovers found themselves down to fourteen men when sub Graham Coutts was sin binned for what seemed a harsh tackle offence. Some great defence was then needed by the White Shirts with Beverley camped on the try line.


After 65 minutes, the Yorkshiremen spun the ball and although there seemed little danger, no. 8 James McKay had the presence and power to go in under the posts, Archibald adding the extra points.


On 73 minutes, the scoreline became 5-27 when, having blown for a couple of non existent forward passes, Mr. Ashman then let a blatant one go and a try for left wing Mike Pickering was the end result, Archibald again converting.


Rovers were still gamely trying to salvage a score but when Gareth Foreman was yellow carded for retaliating to yet another piece of provocation, the final whistle could not come soon enough.


This result was a blow to Rovers, who could have gone into fourth spot had they won. An even more difficult task awaits Rovers next week when they head to Hollow Drift to tackle in form Durham City.


Rovers: C. Robinson, Lilley, A. Foreman, Rutherford, Nicholson, Walton (Coutts (sin bin)), G. Foreman (sin bin), Stevens, Nichols, Wise (Todd), Power (c) (S. Hall), D. Smith, Wallis, Kirton, White.


Beverley: Barnes, Cuozzo, Riby, Henderson, Pickering, Posa (c), Archibald (Infield), Clappison (Hatfield), Cross, Jones, Barker, Gibson, Hopra, Worrall (sin bin), McKay (Hancock).


Referee: Peter Ashman (Durham Society)