A STONG Bees outfit got their pre-season schedule off to a flying start thanks to a comfortable 26-7 victory at home to Dings Crusaders on Saturday.
Bees were able to name a very strong squad for the match which included two of Ian Matthews’ most recent signings in the shape of Wayne Child and Nyle Beckett, both of whom were to make an immediate impact.
Former Nuneaton player Beckett gave an excellent all round display on the wing and demonstrated great speed, footwork and power, while Child, who joined from Bishop Stortford, gave a taste of his skill, flair and power in the midfield.
The game began with Dings on the attack however the hosts showed excellent resilience to keep the visitors from Bristol out.
Bees showed good intent to counter attack and constantly challenged the Dings defence.
The somewhat feisty first half was dominated by defence and it took a good half an hour before the deadlock was broken.
The Bees opened the scoring with a well taken try from a strong set scrimmage. Martyn Hooker broke off the scrum and beat the cover defence showing his speed and power at close range and Jack Jolly added the conversion.
As the first half whistle beckoned, Dings’ forwards began to fatigue and following a free kick from a scrum, Steve Leach took the initiative, raising the tempo with a quick tap and, following a barnstorming run, fed Jimmy Oliver who beat the full back to score under the posts. Jolly added the extras to make the half time score 14-0.
Both sides rang the changes at the interval and it did not take the new changes long to get on the scoresheet with, what was to prove the try of the game.
Having forced a turnover on their own line and won a penalty, new No.10 Harman and centre Child spotted the defence napping and played from the Bees’ own line.
Child made a scorching break through the centre and fed Fensome on the inside. Fensome then fed winger O’Malley who was well tackled but thanks to good support, Bees recycled and two phases later skipper Chris Goddard fed Nyle Beckett to finish the try behind the sticks. The conversion was a formality for Harman.
That was not to be the opening of the floodgates as both sides continue to test each other’s defences.
Indeed another 25 minutes were to pass before the Bees crossed the line again. More good build up play and a clever kick from Harman allowed the back three to chase and force an error – young Matt Dight was on hand to dot the ball down.
To Dings credit, they showed lots of fight and determination right down to the final whistle and were rewarded with a nicely taken try by their scrum half following a defensive lapse from the Bees.
The final pre-season assignment for the Bees is Friday against Bournville (7.30pm).