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Preston Grasshoppers 19 Birmingham & Solihull Bees 20

Birmingham and Solihull Bees grabbed a dramatic late win at Preston Grasshoppers to end a three-match losing run in National Two North.

Adam Canning kicked a penalty with the last play of the game as Birmingham and Solihull Bees grabbed a dramatic late win at Preston Grasshoppers to end a three-match losing run in National Two North.

Bees trailed 19-3, but battled back to reduce the deficit to just two points, and Canning kept his cool to land a tough kick from the touchline to complete a personal 15-point haul.

Canning gave the Bees the lead with a tenth-minute penalty but Preston were soon in control and, just before the half-hour, they sored the opening try of the match through Sam Whyte.

The hosts’ tails were up and they started to assert their dominance in the scrum

Bees were struggling to cope as forwards Liam Dunne and Nick Bingham were both sent to the sin-bin in quick succession.

The latter incident also saw Grasshoppers awarded a penalty try and, with a two-man advantage, they extended their lead three minutes later as Billy Wolf scored the hosts’ third try.

Bees had been under the cosh for most of the first half, but Canning gave them hope just before the interval with an interception try to make it 19-10.

Injuries to Bees’ props Nick Bingham and Pete Koziot resulted in uncontested scrums for the entire second half, which also left the visitors playing with 14 men as a consequence.

Despite that disadvantage, Bees were the better team and sustained pressure paid off on 65 minutes as replacement Aquile Smith showed a burst of pace to set up Jimmy Oliver for a try.

Canning’s conversion took Bees to within sight of victory but, despite more pressure, it looked like time was running out for the visitors.

Then, with the clock past 80, another break from Smith brought a penalty just inside the touchline, and Canning made an excellent kick to seal a memorable win.

 

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