BIRMINGHAM & Solihull ended a six match losing streak thanks to a comprehensive 31-10 win at Sandbach on Saturday in National League 3 Midlands.
A grey, rain-swept afternoon up in south Cheshire was the stage for the Bees to finally gel and deliver an emphatic winning performance that ended a winless six match run and deliver a potential launch pad to begin their ascent up the league.
It was Sandbach who, against the run of play, got on the scoreboard first with centre Elliot Morris nicking an interception try from a speculative pass from McGahan with 15 minutes on the clock.
McGahan was soon to atone for his error by slotting a penalty just four minutes later after some good work at the scrum by his forwards.
It was then the visitors’ turn to profit from an interception – good pressing of the Sandbach back three allowed Ian Briggs to bag the stray pass and feed his wing partner Alex O’Malley, who had the pace and strength to finish the try and McGahan’s conversion put Bees 10-3 ahead after 20 minutes.
The pendulum was to seemingly swing back in the Cheshire sides’ favour with a Bodrill penalty after 30 minutes to level the scores, with the Bees then reduced to 13 men after yellow cards were shown to both Kiwi debutants in quick succession.
And this allowed Sandbach to score a try in the corner to go in level at 10-10 at the break.
An early injury immediately after the break to Jack Jolly – only just on as a replacement – could have given Sandbach the opportunity to get on the front foot. But a committed and determined Bees’ side had other plans.
Progressively restored to a full complement of 15 men and with replacement Liam Dunne keeping up the good work in the front row, the Bees put in a hugely impressive second half performance that lit up the gathering gloom for their increasingly vocal traveling support.
Patient work in the phases created space for the rested McGahan to use his strength and experience to stretch the lead to 10-17 with a self-converted try.
With their tails now well and truly up, captain Chris Goddard was driven over from close range seven minutes later.
And the icing-on-the-cake bonus point was added a further seven minutes into the half, when a penalty try was promptly awarded after another impressive shove by the Bees eight.
McGahan’s conversion rounded off a 16-point personal haul and a highly impressive kicking performance given the conditions from both from the tee and hand.
To their credit Sandbach refused to lie down and continued to come at the opposition in search of a consolation score but of equal merit was the Bees’ determination and organisation not to concede, keeping their second half copybook unblemished.
Bees will be looking to record back-to-back wins when they host Scunthorpe at Portway this Saturday.