Rampant Beverley tighten grip at top
BEVERLEY stretched their lead at the top of North One East with a 48-15 victory over Sheffield, coupled with a defeat for nearest rivals Wheatley Hills.
Sheffield, in third place with only one defeat in their previous 10 matches and with the league's best defensive record, were expected to give Beverley a hard game but were outplayed from start to finish.
Despite the recent prolonged rain the conditions were good and both sides contributed to a fast, open game.
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A try after eight minutes from number eight James Holland, who touched down following a forward drive to the line, gave Beverley the lead with Phil Duboulay adding the conversion.
Sheffield moved the ball at every opportunity but they could make little impression on a solid home defence.
Beverley, in contrast, always carried the greater threat and added to their lead with two tries from winger Lee Birch and a fourth from wing forward David Worrall.
Fly half Jimmy Pearson kicked a penalty for Sheffield but with Duboulay having added two further conversions Beverley were able to turn round 26-3 up at half-time and the game was as good as won.
Sheffield never stopped trying to get back into it in the second half but their cause was hopeless and Beverley added four further tries after the break.
Birch, with a swerving run from deep in his own half, crossed for his third, Holland added two more, one converted, and Junior Tupai rounded off a sweeping cross-field move with a fine try down the left touchline.
Sheffield deservedly got some reward for their efforts when flanker Andrew Kelly touched down from a forward drive and then centre Chris Dale raced clear down the right for a second Sheffield try.
Pearson slotted one conversion but it was all too little too late.