Beccles confident on their travels
RUGBY: In their penultimate away fixture of the season, Beccles travel to Canvey Island tomorrow for what is expected to be a tough encounter.
Canvey, who were promoted as runners-up to Beccles last season, have fared better to date. But their recent dip in form – combined with Beccles’ resurgence – is sure to make this a very close contest.
With Beccles enjoying the freedom the away fixtures appear to give the players, the squad will be looking to continue their recent form on the road and take all four points from this fixture, following a earlier home draw.
The front row will be a hotly-contested area as the experienced Reece Ling returns to the squad and will be keen to put in some big performances before he leaves for another stint playing in Australia. With the return of Ling and the recent return of both Pitts and Porter, those who start the match alongside Lake in the front row will not be decided until the day.
The regular second-row pairing of Paul Wilson and Johnstone will continue with Hinsley returning from injury to take his place in the back row. The return of Murray will mean Payne moves into the centre alongside Wade, who will link up with the regular back three of Davey-Durak, Vasey-Lark and Rayner.
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Beccles 10, Ipswich 11
A late penalty cost Beccles a win against Ipswich at Beef Meadow on Saturday in very wet and muddy conditions, which made playing good rugby difficult.
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It was Hungarian Atilla Baksza’s last game for the club before he returns home. He put in a performance containing a number of good tackles and carries and was the Musker McIntyre man of the match. His presence in the back row will be hard to replace for the rest of the season.
Ipswich missed an early penalty before Beccles opened the scoring. A scrum on the halfway line saw Rob Wilson break from number eight. The ball went out wide to Veasey-Lark, who linked well with Rayner to put Sale in the clear. He sprinted in and touched down. Wade added the conversion.
The pitch was cutting up badly. Beccles managed to win two more penalties in the first half but Wade found it difficult to get any accuracy kicking out of the mud. The score remained 7-0 at half-time.
Ipswich started to use their forwards more and put in some good driving mauls. Beccles kept them out for a long time but eventually they pushed their way over to score an unconverted try. They then added a penalty to take the lead.
Beccles battled back. They put the Ipswich line under pressure but were held up short on a number of occasions. Eventually, they won a penalty which Wade converted to put Beccles back in to the lead.
It was now Ipswich’s turn to put Beccles under pressure.
They played their way in to the Beccles half and eventually forced the infringement in front of the posts. Their kicker scored the penalty to give them the lead again.
There were only a few minutes left and Beccles could not keep possession to get back in the game.
One consolation for Beccles was that the bonus point they picked up was the only point picked up by the teams in the bottom four on Saturday.
Beccles II 22, Wymondham II 23
Despite a controversial defeat by Wymondham, Beccles seconds are still top of the table, and are hoping results go their way in the coming weeks if they are to win the title.
In muddy conditions, Beccles started the game in a sloppy fashion, dropping the ball on numerous occasions and giving the visitors too much possession. Wymondham piled on the pressure on the Beccles try-line, however the ball was held up and the ball was cleared.
A good run from Frost put Beccles well into the Wymondham half. The ball was passed down the line and Long went over to score.
From this Wymondham played through their forwards, picking and driving and eventually going over to level the score. A series of good pick-and-drives from the Beccles pack allowed Hawkes to snipe through. He fell just short of the line, leaving Goode to place the ball over the try-line – but it was controversially disallowed.
Beccles continued to dominate with the ball in hand, and a good run from Hewitt resulted in him scoring a try.
The second half was very similar to the first. The conditions proved difficult for both kickers and backs, with countless errors coming from them. Wymondham put pressure on, a penalty adding to their tally.
Wymondham continued to pressurise and this resulted in a further two tries.
Beccles woke up. The forwards put hard work in at the break-down to secure good ball for backs. Hewitt hit a good line and scored from close range under posts.
Cooper was brought on and immediately made an impact. He drew his marker well to feed man-of--the match Goode, who was brought down five metres from the line. The move was finished well by King in the corner to regain the lead.
The referee seemed to indicate the last play, and Cooper punted the ball out. However, the referee continued the game. Beccles were on the receiving end of countless penalties but still the defence remained solid.
The ball was fed to the backs and they went over the line. Beccles were convinced the ball was held up, however the referee awarded the try in a strange passage of play to put Wymondham one point ahead.