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Bees blow Combe away

Birmingham Solihull 47 v 7 Westcombe Park

ben phillips

Birmingham Solihull 47 v 7 Westcombe Park

Super hooker Ben Phillips scored two tries as Bees romped to victory against a big but ultimately limited Westcombe Park.

Days were when a hooker would barely get his hands on the ball but here was Phillips showcasing the skills of the modern day No2; first, loitering on the wing after the Combe defence had all been sucked into the breakdown, the scoring pass coming courtesy of tight head Craig Voisey, and then going over in more traditional fashion at the heart of a forwards drive.

In between Phillips provided inch perfect ball in the lineout and overall, this was an excellent all round display by the home side, the three quarters looking particularly sharp.

Despite this player/coach Russell Earnshaw struck a cautionary note: "If I'd been told before the match what the score would be I'd have settled for that," said the No8, sporting a black eye after guesting at lock for the suspended Alex Davidson, "but our scrummaging was a bit lazy and we should have driven them off the ball more.

"However our back play was at times sensational although there was no need to play sevens-style rugby all the time."

Bees started brightly enough. With the wind behind them it was gale force rugby, all quick lineouts and crisp handling as the visitors were stretched first one way and then the other.

But then, after ten minutes of domination Bees suddenly found themselves behind as poor tackling allowed Combe winger Niki Davies score a converted try in the corner.

Back came the homeside, and with fly half Mark Woodrow pulling the strings Combe were fast running out of legs, the mercurial No10 running through to score from a lioneout, adding the extras himself.

Bees now threw everything into the attack, and although a Combe counter nearly resulted in another try for the visitors, it was the last time they would threaten the home line.

Full back Reece Spee and wingers Simon Hunt and Mitchell Culpin were all making in-roads into the Combe defence and it was from simple passing move along the line that Spee scored in the corner. Woodrow again converted.

Phillips then nabbed his first try, Woodrow again converting to make it 21-7 at half time.

Phillips's second try and Woodrow's conversion then made it 28-7 and with the bonus point in the bag for four tries Bees took their foot off the pedal.

However they were back in the driving seat after Combe winger Davies was yellow carded.

Centre Scott Young who'd been excellent all day, then bagged a try, which was converted before Culpin got his name on the score sheet. Rod Petty, replacing Woodrow adding the extras before rounding off a fine afternoon with a try in the corner in a move which had started behind the Bees line.

The Sharmans Cross Road outfit remain in third place in Division Two, one point behind Cambridge on 35. Redruth lead with 43. Bees are away to Southend next week.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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