BIRMINGHAM & SOLIHULL Bees earned a priceless win in their battle against the National League 2 South drop, edging Bury St Edmunds 29-26 at Haberden.
A clinical first-half from the Bees, added to by resilient defending against the hosts late on, helped clinch the victory, that leaves them four points adrift of safety.
It means a victory at Portway this Saturday against Barnes (2:30pm) – a side they have previously beaten this season, would lift them out of the bottom three.
Despite the hosts playing open and expansive rugby from the first whistle, it was Bees who took the early advantage and the opening try of the afternoon.
The ball was played out from a line-out, from which Nathan Tilsley drove over the line for the first five-points of the game.
Jack Jolly scored the second try after a 40 metre sprint over the whitewash, adding the conversion, with Matt Dight following suit and claiming a converted try in the corner.
The hosts were rocked, and were shaken further by Dight’s second try – earning Bees a bonus point – which gave the visitors a 26-0 lead.
Despite strong pressure from BSE, they were unable to cut the deficit before the break.
They emerged fired up for the second-half, and took the game to Birmingham.
Chris Lord bundled over for Bury St Edmunds’ first score of the day, before Mark Kohler added a converted try three minutes later.
Bees were beginning to sweat, so a third try just six minutes into the half for the hosts brought the game back into contention.
Then, with Bees reduced to 13 men, after yellow cards were shown to Adam Clayton and Umraan Jadwat, BSE levelled through Alex Gray’s converted score.
But the visitors found their resolve again, and pulled back ahead with a successful penalty kicked between the posts by Jolly in the final 11 minutes of the game.
It gave Bees a slim advantage, but it was enough to win a crucial five points in their fight for survival.