18th Dec, 2018

Bees made to pay for errors

Craig Gibbons 29th Nov, 2018

BIRMINGHAM & Solihull Bees dropped to the foot of the National Two South table following their 32-15 defeat to Old Albanian.

It was defensive lapses which allowed OAs to notch up two early tries, the first for burly No 8 Chris West after 13 minutes, with fly half Tom Bednall also finding a little too much space on the 22-minute mark.

Centre Dan Watt was on target with both conversions, to add to his seventh-minute penalty, as OAs raced into a commanding 17-0 lead.

Despite losing Michael Stephens to concussion early on, the Bees pack finally found its stride, with Stewart Pearl adding to his impressive try tally this season after 28 minutes.

The conversion by Jolly pegged the score back to 17-7 and with OAs loose head Harry Morgan sin binned with sven minutes of the first period to go, the Bees had a real opportunity to get back on terms at the break.

Yet two clear chances went begging and OAs would have been relived to head off at the halfway stage with a ten-point cushion still intact.

With the second half under way, the Bees seemed to have got the measure of OAs and were playing patiently through the phases.

Jolly’s 51st-minute penalty fell short but Luke Smith was on hand to finish off a try a minute later following a barnstorming run from the front of the line out from birthday boy Matt Spink.

Although Hagan, who had taken over the kicking duties from his skipper, couldn’t add the extras, the visitors looked as though they could be in right back in the mix.

Frustratingly for coaching staff and supporters alike, the men in gold and black failed to find the clinical finishing required to get themselves ahead.

Debutant winger Mike Ho went close but priceless chances were going begging.

The sense of growing frustration also manifested itself on the pitch in the form of a yellow card for Danny Wright, making a welcome return to the fold after his recent illness.

Watt adroitly slotted over the three points from the resulting penalty and, even though Hagan narrowed the deficit to just five points again with a long-range effort, one felt the visitors’ challenge was beginning to run out of stream.

Two late tries and a further conversion for Watt with the last kick of the game confirmed that view and for the second week running the Bees were left without the consolation of a losing bonus point for their industry.

Bees entertain Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.

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