MARKHAM RFC 17 POINTS BEAUFORT RFC 22 POINTS
With both teams on maximum league points this was bound to have enough edge and steel in the contest to make it a compelling encounter
and it lived up to all expectations. It wasn't until the last minute of play that Beaufort , already with a bonus point in the bag from four tries ,
could let out a huge sigh of relief leaving the home side with a losing bonus point.
Beaufort began well attacking thrillingly from their own territory and were soon on the score sheet . Slick handling by their threequarters created the space
on the right flank for wing Kyle Purnell to race through for a try straight out of the text book. Lewis Hodson's wide angled conversion struck
the cross bar but bounced over for a 7 point lead. Minutes later they came close to scoring again being stopped just short by a resolute Markham defence.
Then after ten minutes of play the referee sent a Markham player to the sin bin and showed a red card to his opposite number for retaliation. Beaufort had
to pit themselves for the most of the match with fourteen men against a determined buoyed up host side. Despite superiority in numbers Markham could only manage
a single penalty before the break . However , the penalty count was an issue in this match ; an unprecedented 20 to 4 against Beaufort. They were fortunate that
Markham failed to exploit this advantage to the full
When the next score came it was from Beaufort . A breakout out by fullback Hodson was finished off out wide with precision for a splendid try by Matthew Burrows.
This was quickly followed by another ,an arguably the best try of the encounter . Beaufort attacked from deep and a wonderfully weighted pass from Chris Morris
found Hodson, who cut a suberb angle at pace to notch up Beaufort's a third try and 17 point to 3 lead.
Beaufort then got themselves in trouble again with a sin binning offence reducing their number still further to 13. On this occasion Markham took full advantage and
despite herculean efforts by a robust Beaufort defence, the host side eventually crashed over their first try. From the the touchline Markham slotted over the conversion
.But jubilation in their ranks was soon muted . From the restart a clearnace kick was charged down by Beaufort's omnipotent flanker Andrew Morgan who collected the loose ball to off load into the waiting hands of Aaron Thomson. The hooker took his chance to scamper over in the corner to score Beaufort 's fourth and bonus point try.
Beaufort's scoreline was improved to 22 points to 10 but they failed to nail their conversions and in the last quarter the lead did not sit easy with them.
They were continually punished sometimes harsely for techniclal offences in the scrummage and the line out thereby sacrificing hard fought territorial gains which kept them escounced in their 22 . A Markham atttack and some suberb handling skills by an impressive centre partnership got them a second try and with the converion brought them within 5 points of the lead.. With eight minutes of injury time being played the raucous atmospher around King Georges Field from both sets of supporters reached boiling point as they urged on their teams. But Beaufort kept their nerve to hold out for a deserved win.
Beaufort's outstanding player on the day was Aaron Thompson richly deserving the accolade of being Beaufort man of the match