Birmingham Solihull 58 v 12 Blackheath
BEES swept aside the challenge of Blackheath in swashbuckling style running in eight tries to two in this emphatic display of power and verve, grabbing four points for the win plus the bonus point to keep the pressure on Division two leaders Redruth who have played three games more.
Leading try scorer Simon Hunt bagged three while fly half Mark Woodrow ended up with a personal points tally of 28 including two tries.
Hard to believe then that at one time the visitors must have entertained ideas of winning this game, being 12-3 up after just 15 minutes.
Yet with the game not half an hour old their pack was out on its legs and with still 20 minutes to go to the final whistle their backs had given up the ghost too.
The foundations for victory had been laid at the very time Bees were leaking points. They’d started playing their usual high tempo style only for the visito’s full back Tommy White to capitalise on a loose grubber kick to run the length of the pitch to score, fly half Matt Leek converting.
The visitors then lost their scrum half Matt Leek with a suspected broken arm and minutes later Woodrow kicked Bees three points closer, but they extended their lead with a fine try by centre Steve Hamilton.
However the conversion was missed and as the Blackheath pack began to wilt, flanker Chris Brightwell scored in the corner for the home side, Woodrow adding the two points from far out.
Hunt now got his first try – a lovely backs move saw Woodrow run round centre Cameron Mitchell to make the extra man, feed left winger Mitch Culpin who powered away, passing to Hunt for the score and to put Bees in the lead for the first time. Woodrow nailed another penalty on 35 minutes to put the home side 18-12 up at half time.
Revived by the break, Blackheath resisted until the 56th minute, when full back Reece Spee broke through after another fine display by the backs Woodrow again adding the extras.
Back came the visitors but a telegraphed pass was seen by Woodrow who ran the length of the pitch to score, then converted his own try.
Bees now cut loose, Hunt grabbing his second try, quickly followed by Woodrow who survived a high tackle to touchdown and again convert his own try.
Hunt then scored again under the posts before replacement hooker Jack Preece, finding himself in space and showing enterprise beyond the ken of the front row, kicked ahead only to be taken out off the ball. The referee awarded a penalty try which again Woodrow converted to seal the game.
Player coach Russell Earnshaw, who went off with an injured back, said he was delighted with the performance: “We wanted to go out there and be ruthless and put in a professional performance.
“I told the players that we needed to play to our potential and enjoy ourselves and I think we did that.
“We knew they had a good pack and we knew we had to keep moving them around and we knew when we had broken them.”
Next week Bees entertain premiership bound Leeds Carnegie in the next round of the EDF Trophy at Sharmans Cross Road. Kick off 2pm.