A STERLING second-half showing earned the Birmingham & Solihull Bees five well-deserved points in a game of 6 tries and 6 yellow cards at home to Old Northamptonians on Saturday.
In common with the mid-November fixture at Billing Road, Bees had the best of the early exchanges in this National League 3 Midlands encounter and after eight minutes Aaron Cort was sinbinned for the visitors.
The hosts made use of the extra man with Chris Goddard being driven over but fly half Mitch McGahan narrowly missed with his conversion attempt
Just before the end of the opening quarter, full back Rory Seymour pulled a penalty attempt wide of the posts and moments later ONs were again awarded a penalty, which on this occasion was kicked to touch.
From the resulting play Bees’ openside Darren Forder was sin binned and Seymour was successful with his penalty attempt.
For the remainder of the half it was ONs who had the majority of possession, and their pack was proving to be a handful for Bees. Just before half-time, No. 8 Michael Stephens was adjudged to have offended and became his side’s second player to be sent to the sin bin.
Seymour made no mistake with the penalty to give ONs a deserved one point lead at half-time.
Bees made two changes at the break with Jack Jolly making a welcome return from injury to replace scrum half Martin Hooker and Pete Koziot replaced Kurtis Payne.
The hosts came out of the blocks like a scalded cat and on 45 minutes Forder was driven over before five minutes later McGahan neatly slotted home a penalty to extend the lead of the men from Portway to seven points.
Just before the end of the third quarter Bees scored again when a driving maul ended with Forder emerging with the ball for his second try of the game to give the hosts a 18-6 lead.
Early in the final quarter Bees scored a bonus point try from yet another driving maul from a line-out – loose head Dan Toth was the happy Bee on this occasion.
With the home side now in total control of the game, ONs, on their limited possession, tried desperately to spread play as quickly as possible.
When one of their players fumbled the ball after 65 minutes, speedy winger Nyle Beckett skillfully controlled it with his foot before going over for Bees fifth try of the game. McGahan converted to give the Portway men a 30-6 lead.
A scuffle shortly before the end saw both sides lose players to the sin bin and there was still time for Hooker to score a sixth and final try deep in injury-time to wrap up a comfortable win.
Interim Coaches Paul Williams and Dave Spencer will be delighted with Bees’ second-half showing and the fact that the team have now won five of their six matches under their tenure.
Next up is a trip to Peterborough Lions on Saturday.