BIRMINGHAM & Solihull Bees came out top in an arm wrestle in some very muddy conditions to narrowly beat Longton 8-5 at Portway in the National League 3 Midlands division.
In doing, so they notched up a second successive win – a feat that they had not managed to achieve previously this season, as well as doing the double on a second side in two weeks.
With heavy underfoot conditions, this game was never going to be a classic but eight points in the second half, a try from skipper Chris Goddard and a well struck penalty from fly half Mitch McGahan, was enough to outweigh the unconverted try from Longton.
Conditions and injuries meant that Paul Williams and Dave Spencer could not name a backs replacement on the bench, which pointed to a game plan that was going be somewhat limited.
The interim coaching duo would have been more than satisfied with the industry shown by each of the 11 forwards that wore the mud-caked Bees shirt.
Hooker Zane Raimondi bagged the man of the match award, but it could have been any one of his forward colleagues deserving of that accolade.
The home supporters would have also be delighted to see Michael Stephens back from sojourns down under – the impact he made in a short period off the bench served as a welcome remainder of what this former player of the year can bring to a side.
In a game that was never going to provide much opportunity for the backs to show their flair, scrum half Chris Fensome marshaled his pack with distinction and youngster Brian Sibiya took his chance well in the centre, showing that his defensive game is as promising as his attacking one.
It may not have been pretty but – despite a last minute scare and a rather high unforced error count – it was pretty effective against, what was, decent opposition who were more than up for the contest.
Four vital league points were just reward for their endeavors in challenging conditions and the Bees will try and make it three out of three, something they have not achieved since early 2012, when they travel to Shropshire to play Newport (Salop) this Saturday.