Pontefract RUFC clinch promotion with victory over Beverley

Pontefract secured promotion with a bonus point 27-10 victory over tough opponents from East Yorkshire.

By Tony Harber
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 7:00 am
James Griffin shows a winger’s pace and skills to get the ball down in the corner for a try for Pontefract at Beverley. Picture: Jonathan Buck
James Griffin shows a winger’s pace and skills to get the ball down in the corner for a try for Pontefract at Beverley. Picture: Jonathan Buck

Both teams played well in what was one of the most entertaining games of the year. Ponte were firm favourites on form, but no-one told Beverley that as their speedy outside backs tested the visitors’ defence, which has the joint best record in the league, to the maximum.

Ponte did create chances, but it was the hosts who scored first as a speculative kick through was fumbled to allow a score in the corner for a 5-0 lead.

From the restart the tone was set by man of the match back rower Leo Harrison, who caused his opponent to drop the ball with a massive hit. A resulting dominant scrum saw number eight Jack Beddis combine with scrum-half Josh Walker down the blind side to send speedy winger Ciaran Tucker in for a converted try.

Richard Dedicoat takes Jack Beddis's offload to score the bonus point fourth try for Pontefract at Beverley. Picture: Jonathan Buck

It was obvious that the first score in the second half was going to be vital and it was Ponte who benefitted from an unexpected source. A great drive and offload from ever consistent hooker Tim Pickersgill allowed second row Brodie Matthews to feed prop James Griffin on a loop and score a try any winger would be proud of.

Ponte were now on top and, despite tremendous home defence, they scored another unconverted try as Beddis and Walker again combined from the back of a scrum to send young winger Lucas Ketteridge over in the corner.

Everyone expected Ponte to run out comfortable winners, but Beverley were having none of it. Some uncharacteristic missed tackles out wide allowed a home try which brought the score to 17-10.

Tim Pickersgill splits the Beverley defence. Picture: Jonathan Buck

With just one score in it and the home side backs looking ever dangerous the away supporters were getting nervous. It was a relief when Liam Kay was able to boot over a long-range penalty after a late tackle.

With the match now looking won, it was a matter of whether Ponte could gain a fourth try bonus point. The answer was a resounding yes. A great steal and drive from Tad Nyanjowa followed by a great offload from prop Ethan Potts allowed full-back Richard Dedicoat to get on the end of a Beddis offload and go under the posts for a converted try. It was just reward for his wholehearted effort throughout the afternoon.

So it is onward and upward for this fantastic young Ponte team. After losing the first game of the season many tipped them for relegation, so it is credit to the players, the coaching team as well as the medical staff that the holy grail of promotion has been achieved.

A special mention too to the small army of volunteers who run the club. The future of Pontefract RUFC looks exciting on and off the field.