How we use Cookies

Buzzing Bees chasing vital win at Southend

UPBEAT Bees travel to a tough fixture away at Southend tomorrow in a must win match to keep their promotion hopes alive.

UPBEAT Bees travel to a tough fixture away at Southend tomorrow in a must win match to keep their promotion hopes alive.

The Essex outfit have the look of makeweights having only won two of their Division Two fixtures but a recent tieup with Guinness Premiership club Saracens means they've suddenly got access to some highly talented players.

Bees player/coach Russell Earnshaw said they looked impressive after watching a DVD of their demolition of Blackheath earlier in the season while last week they were only just pipped at Stourbridge.

"They got a few lads in from Sarries, some of whom I know from England Sevens duty while I understand they've got a nephew of All Black legend 'Smokin' Joe Stanley in the squad," he said.

"They also got a big abrasive pack, backs who like to run it and some fast wingers."

The Sharmans Cross Road outfit will travel with a team largely unchanged from their 47-7 pounding of Westcombe Park, Earnshaw returning to the back row after a spell at lock last week with John Hartlock slotting into the engine room.

Bees will also be looking to play an expansive game if conditions permit.

"I don't want to give our game plan away but, if the conditions are right we will certainly try to run the ball, particularly as you could see the damage it had done to Westcombe by the end of the game," said Earnshaw.

Indeed, Combe had no answer to the power, speed and precision of the Bees three quarters summed up by a stunning last minute try from replacement fly half Rod Petty.

The ball was gathered behind the home side's line, fed along the backs to full back Reece Spee who ran three quarters of the pitch before the ball ended up with the supporting Petty who touched down and then added the conversion.

The Bees blitz had started from the kick off but although it was Combe who got on the scoresheet first - a converted try from winger Niki Davies - it was only a matter of time before the pressure from the fitter and faster home team told.

Fly half Mark Woodrow opened their account followed by Spee before hooker Ben Philips bagged a brace either side of half time, securing the bonus point.

Combe's woes deepened when Davies was then yellow carded, paving the way centre Scott Young and winger Mitch Culpin to get on the scoresheet before Petty's length of the pitch effort.

The kickers had their boots on too - Woddrow converting five tries and Petty one to round off an excellent afternoon for Bees and their fans.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area.