Birmingham & Solihull Bees trigger cup exit in spectacular fashion - The Solihull Observer

Birmingham & Solihull Bees trigger cup exit in spectacular fashion

Solihull Editorial 22nd Mar, 2017   0

RUGBY UNION: THE NORTH Midlands Cup was removed from the Bees trophy cabinet on Friday evening after they threw away a 19-point lead to lose 26-32 at home to Bournville on Friday evening, writes Richard Smith.

With a near gale force strength wind at their backs, the home side were dominant in every department and were playing a fast tempo, attacking style of rugby that has been seldom seen in recent times at Portway.

Yet Bournville regathered their composure and, in what will go down as one of the most impressive cup comebacks in many a year, set about clawing their way back into the game which would eventually see them come out worthy winners after 80 minutes.

Three tries for the Bees (from hooker Zane Raimondi, full back Chris Fensome and a superb chip and chase from winger Matt Dight and two Jack Jolly conversions to the good, Bournville got themselves onto the scoreboard after 15 minutes thanks to a try from centre James Hussey who also added the conversion. Yet the Bees hit back immediately, with a stunning cameo try from fly half Max Rodman, duly converted by Jolly to restore the 19-point margin.




Bournville were then able – despite the fierce wind – to pin the Bees in their own half for the remaining 20 minutes of the first period. With Jolly shown a yellow card, Bournville soon got their second try from close range courtesy of No.8 Drew Harper to make it 26-12.

With Jolly restored to the field of play, it was flanker Michael Stephens turn for 10 minutes in the sin bin two minutes before the break. Bourneville took advantage of their numerical and territorial superiority with a try for full back on the stroke of half time, narrowing the deficit to 26-17 with the prospect of playing with the wind in the second half.


The sense of trepidation amongst Bees’ fans was immediately compounded by a Woz Oliver try for the visitors straight after the break to bring Bournville with 4 points of the Bees. A third yellow card – this time for second row Andy Weaver – was quickly followed by a fourth try for the boys from Bournbrook – James Hussey again converting his own score – to put Bournville in the lead for the first time in the game.

With the Bees profligate with the limited possession they had and Hussey adding a penalty to stretch the lead to six points, things were getting desperate for the home side.

They had a chance ‘at the death’ to salvage pride and keep their cup defence for 2017 alive, but Bournville pinched possession at the Bees’ 5 metre line out and referee Marc Hurn blew the final whistle on a plucky and deserved 26-32 victory for the Midlands 1 West side.

Such an implosion will surely lead to some serious questions been asked at training this week, as the Bees prepare for their trip to Peterborough Lions this Saturday (25th March, KO 2.15pm) – a tough assignment against perhaps the league’s form team.

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