ARRON Wilson scored a try in the final play of the game to earn Birmingham & Solihull Bees a hard fought 24-20 victory over Sandbach in the National League 3 Midlands.
Sandbach had entered Saturday’s game with more at stake than the Bees and this was reflected in a very spirited performance by the Cheshire side but it was the hosts who stole the win dramatic fashion.
The Bees were the first on the scoreboard after Sandbach fly half Benny Elliot had missed a penalty in the opening minute, with Darren Forder finishing off an excellent move involving Mitch McGahan, Jimmy Oliver and Zane Raimondi.
A regulation McGahan conversion gave the Bees a 7-0 lead but the loss of Oliver to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on seemingly almost allowed the visitors to hit back however the woodwork intervened another kickable penalty.
Six minutes before half-time the Bees further extended their lead with a try from Ashley Scriven. Young winger Jack Fitzgerald, 17, provided a lovely inside pass to create the score with his first-ever touch of the ball in senior rugby.
It was McGahan’s turn to be denied by the uprights this time and the points-differential was further narrowed to 12-7 just five minutes later, with Elliott again in the thick of things with a self-converted try under the posts.
If the first half was a mixed bag for the Bees, the second half had all the signs of turning into a horror show as Sandbach bagged their second try of the afternoon on the 50 minute mark with Jack Leech crossing and the extras were added which put the red and white’s ahead at 12-14.
A further Elliot penalty extended Sandbach’s lead to five points and the signs were looking distinctly ominous for the Bees.
However with five minutes to go a forward assault on the visitor’s line yielded a deserved close-range try for the dynamic Spink to level the scores.
With another Elliot penalty slotted three minutes later after the Bees had infringed at the breakdown, it seemed that Sandbach were going to snatch what would have been a merited victory.
Yet it was the Bees who were to have the final word with Wilson’s well taken try at the death, garnished with a McGahan conversion that was to steal the victory for the home side and record their seventh win in eight games.
Although not yet mathematically safe, going on recent form the Bees should be able to rely on their current ten point cushion to keep them in the league for next season.
With a free Easter weekend, they then have the prospect of an away trip up to promotion-chasing Scunthorpe on April 2.