BIRMINGHAM & Solihull Bees got their first league win of the season under their belts thanks to a convincing 41-17 home victory over Lichfield at Portway.
Two memorable tries, scored by full-back Ian Briggs, in the closing minutes secured what was a well deserved win and provided an important morale-boost for the Bees.
The early exchanges saw little to choose between the two sides, however after five minutes a driving maul near the half-way line led to the Bees being awarded a penalty which Jack Jolly slotted home after six minutes.
Almost from the restart, the hosts were back on the attack again with the lively Jolly making a clean break and the ball was eventually recycled to speedy winger Nyle Beckett who crossed for the first try which Jolly converted for 10-0 with just seven minutes gone.
This seemed to prompt Lichfield into action ten minutes later the visitors were back on level terms thanks to a try from lock Callum Turner, which was successfully converted by Callum Turner who slotted home a penalty minutes later.
Having won their opening three matches, Lichfield were full of confidence and at times their backs looked very dangerous. It was, however, Bees who had the next opportunity to add to the score-line after 30 minutes, but Jolly missed with his penalty attempt.
The Bees were able to regain the lead five minutes before half-time when Matt Spink ended an incisive move and Jolly added the extras to give the Bees a seven-point lead the the break.
The second half did not start well for the Bees with prop Pete Koziot shown a yellow card and Spink left the field with what appeared to be a rib injury.
There was a lengthy delay to proceedings when Lichfield scrum-half, Jonny Evans received what looked like a nasty hand injury.
After the restart, Lichfield renewed the attack and were eventually rewarded for their efforts with a try scored by inside centre, Charlie Milner and Massey added the conversion to level the score at 17-17.
That was as good as it got for the visitors who lost Charlie Milner to a yellow card just after the hour mark and the hosts regained the initiative.
With ten minutes remaining Spink, having recovered from his earlier injury, was able to force his way over the line for his second try of the day to edge Bees up to 22-17.
Five minutes from time Lichfield received their second yellow card of the afternoon and with Will Cotterhill sinbinned Bees’ openside flanker Darren Forder went over for a bonus point try to give his side a ten-point lead.
The closing minutes of the game then became the Briggs’ show. He was first to his own clever kick through in the 79th minute and went over for a try under the posts, which was converted by Wayne Child.
And in the final minute the Bees full back then fielded the ball 60 or so metres out, through a number of outrageous dummies before his mazy run led him to score his second and Bees’ sixth try of the day to give a final score of Bees 41-17.
The Bees will be looking to further build on this confidence-boosting win when they travel to Longton this Saturday.