RUGBY UNION: BIRMINGHAM and Solihull Bees extended their lead at the top of the Midlands Premier League to 12 points after seeing off Peterborough Lions at home.
The win stretched Bees’ unbeaten run to 12 league games, a new club record.
And the extension of Bees’ strong run of form was made all the more sweet as Peterborough, also enjoying a purple patch this season, were set to pose a genuine threat prior to Saturday’s game.
But a pair of tries in both halves proved enough as Pete Glackin’s men did enough to see off a spirited challenge from Peterborough.
Bees were the first to strike when centre Nathan Tilsey burrowed his way over for the opening score after five minutes.
The home side’s defence was then put under serious pressure for the next 15 minutes, but the visitors were unable to make any real headway against a well organised home side.
Lions hit back though on 23 minutes when winger Kaz Henderson crossed over while Nico Defeo added the extras.
With the score 5-7 in Lions’ favour, it seemed the shape of the game was about to change.
Yet the Bees forwards impressively shoved the Lions off the ball and relieved the pressure – one of two seminal moments in the first period.
The second decisive blow came on the stroke of half time when JT Nabetelevu finished off out wide, after a forward barrage on the Peterborough line.
Although Jolly was again unable to add the extras, it allowed the Bees to go in at the break 12-7 to the good.
It took just three minutes into the second half for the Bees to stretch their lead to ten points, with Matt Spink flamboyantly diving over the try line after pocketing a delightful reverse pop pass from his captain.
The next 25 minutes saw a return to trench warfare, in which more excellent defensive work earned the visitors only a Defeo penalty for all their endeavours.
A fourth and bonus point try for the Bees was chalked up by Umraan Jadwat from a five-metre scrum.
There was still some roar left in the Lions though and, with a second try for winger Henderson converted by Defeo, there was just a chance for the visiting side to snatch the game from Bees’ grasp. But Bees were able to close out the game without any further alarms.
Bees travel to fourth-placed Sandbach this weekend.
Birmingham & Solihull Bees- 1. Kurtis Payne, 2. Zane Raimondi, 3. Matt Probert, 4. Andy Weaver, 5. Danny Wright, 6. Ashley Scriven, 7. Michael Stephens, 8, Unraan Jadwat (T), 9. Jack Jolly © (1C), 10. Max Rodman, 11. Steve Johns, 12. Nathan Tilsley (T), 13. Jimmy Oliver, 14. JT Nabetelevu (T), 15. Harry O’Brien, 16. Joe Foreman, 17. Matt Spink (T) & 18. Jack Secher.