BIRMINGHAM and Solihull Bees battled to a 31-22 bonus point derby victory against Kings Norton to remain hot on the heels of league leaders Rugby Welsh.
Despite a below par performance, the Bees had too much for their opponents as Harry Garrett, PJ Hatch, Ben Finden and Ryan Sleaford all crossed for tries whilst Lewis Edwards added 11 points from the kicking tee.
The result means the Bees sit second in the Counties 3 Midlands West (South) table, two points behind leaders Rugby Welsh.
Bees welcomed Jae Pritchard and Joe Davies back into the fold with Ethan Phillips and Sleaford returning on the interchange bench.
And the visitors made the perfect start when Garrett dived over out wide following a fine passing sequence with the try superbly converted by Edwards from close to the touchline.
Solihull extended their lead when Hatch outpaced the Kings Norton defence to score a stunning solo try close to the posts which was again converted by Edwards.
However, the home side made the most of a drop in intensity in the Bees play to score two tries of their own, one of which was converted, to close the gap to two points.
The Bees hit back against the run of play, after some sustained Kings Norton pressure on the Solihull line, when a quick tap penalty by Jake Lowe ended with Finden touching down in the corner with Edwards successfully adding the conversion.
This handed Solihull a nine-point lead at the break before another quickly-taken tap and go penalty by Lowe saw him offload to Sleaford who eased over the line to score the Bees bonus point try as Edwards kicked the extras.
However, Kings Norton rallied again to score a further two unconverted tries, as the Bees switched off for a second time, to set up an exciting finish.
Solihull finally put the game to bed when Edwards kicked a penalty to maintain his perfect record from the kicking tee from five attempts.
The Bees are next in action at home against local rivals Old Yardleians RFC on Saturday, November 5 with kick-off at 2.15pm at Portway.