A BRACE of tries from Matt Dight and Nathan Tilsley helped Birmingham & Solihull Bees record their first National League Two South victory of the season, downing Old Redcliffians 42-38 at Portway.
Bristol-based Redcliffians opened the scoring, with Chris Pursall finishing off a well-executed catch and drive from a line-out.
Kieran Hill added the extras.
Bees responded well with three tries as Tilsey, Dight and Matt Spink crossed the line in a 14-minute spell.
All tries were converted by skipper Jack Jolly.
Redcliffians narrowed the deficit when Henry Bird beat the covering defence to score.
Hill’s conversion brought the score to 21-14.
However, their task was to be made much harder, losing two players to injury in quick succession.
Alex Kilbane was stretchered off with a shattered ankle, with Craig McGrath also side-lined with a suspected broken jaw.
Although Hill added to his tally with a penalty, the Bees scored two further tries from full back Harry O’Brien and a second for Dight to take a 35-17 lead into half-time.
The Bees were unable to drive their advantage home in the second half, as both sides tested each other’s defensive qualities.
Redcliffians broke the stalemate after 19 minutes with a try for centre Jermain Jones, Hill’s perfect kicking performance reducing the deficit to 35-24.
Although O’Brien was forced off with an injury, the Bees managed to restore their cushion with a second try for Tilsley three minutes later.
But with Jack Jolly shown a yellow card with ORs attacking the Bees’ try line, two quick tries – a second for Pursall and one for No.8 Ethan Doyle, both adroitly converted by Hill, gave the visitors some consolation to take back down the M5.
With last week’s losing bonus point, the Bees have now eradicated their 5-point deduction carried forward from last season and sit above both Guernsey and London Irish Wild Geese at the foot of the NL2S table.
Bees travel to Dings Crusaders on Saturday.