Battling Birmingham & Solihull Bees rise to third after Longton victory - The Solihull Observer

Battling Birmingham & Solihull Bees rise to third after Longton victory

Solihull Editorial 21st Feb, 2017 Updated: 22nd Feb, 2017   0

RUGBY UNION: A MIX of solid defence with a dash of ambition were the perfect ingredients for Birmingham & Solihull Bees on Saturday as they beat Longton 30-10 to move up to third in the National League 3 Midlands.

Two tries either side of half-time and a clean sheet in the second half were enough to see off the challenge of a more than useful Longton side who had travelled to Portway looking to do the double on the Bees, having won the corresponding fixture back in October.

Stung by their comprehensive defeat by Lichfield the previous week, the Bees were ostensibly in no mood to be put to the sword again and were 5-0 to the good within two minutes thanks to a Danny Wright try.

Yet having got off to a textbook start, the Bees then found themselves in full on defensive mode for the next 15 minutes, as Longton looked to impose their physicality on the game.

A try by prop forward Timmy Wareham levelled the scores, although the Bees would have been disappointed to have conceded a relatively soft score from a front of lineout move.

It was the Bees’ turn to take the game to Longton and the men in black were duly rewarded by a second try, Ashley Scriven ever the poacher at the lineout.

The conversion by Jolly – back on the field after a breather in the sin bin – made it 12-5 and with outside centre Jimmy Oliver making light of the heavy underfoot conditions with some dazzling footwork, Jolly soon added a penalty to further extend the lead.

Longton winger Jone Nabetelebu wasn’t to be outdone though and, assisted in no small part by some half-hearted Bee’s tackling, scored from 40 metres out to reduce the deficit.

To add insult to injury, when the speedster got stuck in the mud and failed to release the ball in the tackle minutes later, Jolly was on hand to provide a place kicking tutorial by slotting a further penalty to take the Bees into a 18-10 lead at half time.

Despite going down to 14 men again within three minutes of the restart – Kurtis Payne the culprit this time for a high tackle – the Bees began the process of slowly but surely squeezing Longton out of the game.

Hooker Zane Raimondi and Scriven both came close before relentless Bees’ pressure finally told when referee Andy Wigley awarded a penalty try from an attacking scrum. With the regulation conversion duly slotted by Jolly, the win had been effectively sealed with 20-minutes still left on the clock.

Much to the home support’s approval, the Bees were able to complete a highly satisfactory afternoon’s work through a fourth and bonus point try – Jolly again in on the action, as his forwards demonstrated their considerable prowess in the rolling maul department.

Although the conversion went astray, the lively scrum half could be well satisfied by his personal 15-point haul in the 30-10 final score line.

With Sheffield defeated away at Peterborough, their win on Saturday moves the Bees up to third spot in the table, six and ten points behind Broadstreet and Nuneaton respectively. A trip to league leaders Nuneaton is the next challenge for Pete Glackin’ squad on March 4.


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