Southend 14 Birmingham & Solihull 39
A FIRST half blitz from Russell Earnshaw’s promotion-chasing battlers earned Bees another precious five-point win.
After just 30 minutes the visitors to Warners Bridge Park had established a 31-0 lead and the win was virtually wrapped up.
Ben Phillips set up young flanker Adam Clayton who opened the scoring with his first try of the season. Mark Woodrow added the extras and tucked away a penalty to give Bees an early lead.
Then three tries in five minutes put the game beyond doubt as the rampant away side inflicted further misery on Southend’s season.
Cameron Mitchell grabbed the first after a quick tap and dash to the line before experienced No.8 Ed Orgee powered over from close range.
Simon Hunt added to his impressive try-scoring tally as Bees blew away their struggling opponents.
Reliable Mark Woodrow kept the scores ticking over with conversions for each try but Joel Johnston improved a Luke Sloane pushover as Southend fought back.
After the break Woodrow added another penalty but his only blip of the day came when he missed his kick after Mitch Culpin had scored in the corner.
In the 72nd minute Mark Billings cruised through for a Southend try and replacement fly half Chris Green added the extras.
Player coach Earnshaw was yellow carded for preventing a try-scoring chance late on but the former Bath star was one again pleased with the win.
“All these games are potential banana skins so if we come away with a win, let alone five points, then I am a happy man.
“We’ve got guys who are stepping up as leaders and we’re just enjoying it at the moment. There is a real good buzz around the team.”
Bees host Cinderford at Sharmans Cross Road on Saturday (12.45pm).