September 25th, 2016

Birmingham & Solihull Bees extend unbeaten run at Newport

BEES got the better of Newport extending their unbeaten run on Saturday (January 30).

For the first time in four years, the Birmingham Solihull Bees achieved a third successive win, overcoming their determined opposition Newport Salop winning 5-18.

All the points came in the second half as both sides tried to manage the breeze and slope at a chilly Forton Road Ground.

Bees’ fly half Mitch McGahan personal tally of 13 points included a drop goal, a penalty, a try and a conversion but it was the industry of his forwards which were to be the telling factor in the encounter.

Playing up the slope and against a stiff breeze in the first half, the Bees keep things tight.

Both McGahan and the Newport full-back Liam Holder both missed early penalty opportunities, although the wind conditions were, at best, difficult.

Using the rolling maul to great effect, the Bees’ forwards again led well by skipper Chris Goddard and, orchestrated Matt Tibbatts, starved Newport of the ball and frustrated their hosts into a string of infringements.

Indeed lock forward Parker eventually found himself heading to the sin bin just before the half-hour mark, as the referee’s patience finally wore through.

Despite the Bees having the elements in their favour going into the second period Newport dominated the next 20 minutes.

Their intensity and efforts were rewarded by a well-taken try in the 54th minute when left wing Evans engineered some space to finish well in the corner.

The ensuing conversion attempt was struck with more hope than expectation, but nonetheless the home side had carved out an important 5-0 advantage.

McGahan got the visitors 5-6 ahead thanks to a drop goal and penalty either side of a yellow card.

McGahan then delivered the fatal blow with a try, winning the ball in a tackle and driving the ball over the line from close range.

Substitute flanker Mike Stephens took a penalty shot, beating the despairing defence to further widen the points differential.

McGahan then slotted over a dog-legged conversion leaving the final score at 5-18.

For the Bees, a third win on the trot – extending ‘Willy and Spanner’s’ 100 per cent record in their second coaching stint at the club, continues the encouraging progress towards mid-table respectability in National League Three Midlands.

The Solihull team will face Nuneaton at Portway next Saturday (February 13).

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