A CONTROLLED performance, which included a 17-point kicking haul for fly half Max Rodman, gave Birmingham & Solihull Bees a well-deserved 22-15 win against a useful Broadstreet side in the National League three Midlands.
While a late try gave the visitors a consolation losing bonus point, the Bees were good value for their win on Saturday.
There was an air of cautious optimism pre-match at Portway, with the Bees coming into the game on the back of a gutsy away win against Bridgnorth last weekend and Pete Glackin and Ben Woods had been able to name an unchanged starting lineup for the first time this season.
That optimism could have quickly evaporated however, when Broadstreet went 5-0 up within just six minutes when centre Dale Glover took advantage of a fluffed clearance kick to score the softest of tries.
Fortunately, the men in black hit back straight away, thanks to a sublime score by centre Jimmy Oliver, gliding past former Bee Scott Harman at full back, having being nicely fed by his centre partner Isaac McNulty.
Max Rodman slotted the regulation conversion to give the Bees a 7-5 advantage – a lead which they were never to concede for the rest of the game.
The dry and sunny autumn conditions and a laissez-faire refereeing style proved to be conducive for expansive rugby and both sides showed both attacking intent and defensive organisation throughout the first half.
The Bees were able to extend their lead by a further two Max Rodman penalties, the latter awarded after another ex-Bee Nyle Beckett was penalised by referee Sarah Toll.
It was a case of no quarter asked, no quarter given, as both sides put their bodies on the line for the cause. Beckett limped off with a match-ending injury, whilst Rodman was temporarily substituted to allow for attention to his shoulder.
Yet for all their respective industry, neither side could put serious pressure on each other’s try lines and the half ended 13-5 in the Bees’ favour.
An early second half Broadstreet penalty from fly half Sam Hollingsworth briefly narrowed the differential but a restored Rodman progressively had the lead back up to 14 points with three well -truck penalties. Despite being under pressure in the scrum, the Bees held their own in every other department and, well-marshalled by skipper Danny Wright, slowly but surely drew the sting from a Broadstreet side who were beginning to run out of attacking ideas.
The effort and application by forwards and backs alike would have no doubt pleased the Bees’ dugout and the appreciative home crowd increasingly sensed that this was a game that wasn’t going to be lost.
Broadstreet – to their credit – never threw in the towel and their doggedness was rewarded by a try from close range in the final play of the game – Hollingsworth’s deft conversion earning them a merited losing bonus point.
The Bees have a tough assignment next weekend when they travel to league leaders Derby, who have a 100 per cent record from their first five games.