A SECOND half hailstorm failed to deter Birmingham & solihull Bees who overcame early resistance from Sutton Coldfield to record a convincing 43-11 victory in the Midland National League Three.
The home side racked up a total of seven tries – four of which came in the second half to run out comfortable winners in the end in a game that was played in unusual metrological conditions – even by Portway standards.
An early try by Chris Goddard after the Bees had monopolised all the possession suggested that it could be one-way traffic as far as this local derby was concerned.
However a yellow card for promising home-grown lock forward Billy Castle, a try out of nothing for the Green & White fullback Max Craven and two penalties for ex-Bee Alex White kept the visitors in contention at the half way point, with the score 17-11.
The Bees had managed to add a further two tries in the first period courtesy of Darren Forder and centre Mikey Whettell, but the score-line at the break said much about the determination of an already relegated Sutton Coldfield side that certainly wasn’t just there to make up the numbers.
The second half was a different story though. With the hailstones further adding moisture to an already heavy pitch, the Bees applied some forward power to put the game beyond their visitors from the north side of Birmingham, before their backs got in on the act to add some gloss to the final score.
It was man of the match Darren Forder who crossed the line for his second and the Bees’ fourth bonus point try 15 minutes into the second half. With McGahan slotting the conversion, the game was effectively in the bag at 24-11.
Two Jimmy Oliver tries plus a well finished score in the corner by full back Alex O’Malley, after good work from his wingmen further racked up the score, aided by McGahan’s conversions.
The final 43-11 score line probably was a fair reflection of the dominance and control exerted by the Bees for the majority of this game, although Sutton Coldfield showed that, despite a run of losses now stretching to 15 games, they were not lacking in competitive spirit.
The Bees bring the curtain down on what has been a somewhat mixed campaign away at Syston this Saturday.