TWO tries in the second period of extra time clinched victory for Bees in a nail biting North Midlands’ Cup game with local rivals Bromsgrove at Finstall Park last Friday.
Flanker Matt Spink forced his way through a number of last-ditch Bromsgrove tackles to secure a memorable 32-37 victory for Bees with two minutes of extra time remaining.
Bees started the game at a high tempo and after only four minutes Spink forced his way over the Bromsgrove line and Jack Jolly added the conversion.
Bromsgrove responded almost immediately when their right winger Matt Shephard joined the line at pace and went through untouched to score a try. With the resulting conversion from James Upton hitting the post, Bees still had a two-point advantage.
The Bees’ forwards were soon able to pressurise Bromsgrove and after 14 minutes skipper Chris Goddard went over from close range, Jolly converting to give Bees a 5-14 lead.
The men in black were getting quick ball at the breakdown, which must have been particularly pleasing for Bees Head of Rugby, Ian Matthews. After 31 minutes, the forwards scored Bees’ third try of the evening, this time Mitch Lee forcing his way over the line. Jolly was on the money again to give the Bees a 5-21 lead.
For all their efforts, ‘Grove could only muster three more points in the first half through a 39th minute penalty from fly-half Upton, which meant that the Bees went into the break very much in the driving seat at 8-21.
The second half did not start well for Bees with Spink being yellow carded. Upton soon slotted home a penalty, reducing the Bees lead to 11-21. A further penalty awarded to Bromsgrove, from a high tackle, meant that Bees were now only seven points ahead.
With the Bees seemingly having lost the rhythm and control they had in the first half, the Boars were having the better of the game and cleverly worked an overlap for pacey winger Shephard to score his second try of the game from 40 metres out. Upton added the conversion to level the score at 21 apiece.
Bees were next to score when Bromsgrove’s left winger was yellow carded and from the resulting scrum Bees were awarded a penalty, which was put over by Jolly. That made it 21-24 to Bees with 67 minutes on the clock.
However two penalties from Upton gave Bromsgrove the lead for the first time in the game, 27-24.
And just when it looked like the game was slipping away from the Bees, Bromsgrove were penalised for being offside. Jolly held his nerve and calmly slotted home the penalty to tie the game at 27-27.
With the scores level after 80 minutes, both sides had to find the stamina to play extra time, two periods of ten minutes.
Bromsgrove bossed the first period and the power of their forwards saw Paul Norris driven over for a try. Upton missed the resulting conversion, but Bromsgrove led 32-27 at the end of the first period.
With 10 minutes remaining, the Bees were resolute and took the game to Bromsgrove. Davenport collected the ball 40 metres out, spotted a gap and skillfully outpaced Bromsgrove’s tiring defence to score his first try for Bees, making the score 32-32, Jolly narrowly missing a difficult conversion.
And with two minutes remaining, Spink was on hand to score his memorable last gasp try. Jolly missed the difficult conversion but Bees had enough to win the match, just.