BATTLING Bees turned in a fighting performance despite being beaten by National League Two North leaders.
Despite conceding three first half tries and a 25-3 interval lead, Bees drew the second period 7-7 and finished the stronger – even though they had player-coach Rod Petty sinbinned.
It took Stour 20 minutes to eventually breach the visitors’ defensive line, having taken an early lead through a Jamie Hearn penalty which had been cancelled out by Bees’ fly half Adam Canning.
When the try came, Bees had every right to feel hard done by, a poor pass ricocheting off a stray boot into the in-goal area for the home team’s Jordan Page to touch down.
Shortly afterwards the same thing happened again, a poor pass fly-hacked through by Stefan Shillingford who went on to score the try.
Hearn’s conversion made it 15-3.
Another goal, scored by Gary Dipple and converted by Hearn plus another penalty from the kicker, made it 25-3 at the interval.
Things got worse for the Bees when Petty was sin-binned for killing the ball ten minutes in yet the Australian’s team-mates managed to score their first try with him off the field.
Hearn was penalised for running in front of a clearance kick and Bees went for the corner.
The lineout was taken in the middle and No8 Rob Connolly was nudged over the line. Canning converted for 25-10.
On 65 minutes Stour’s Matt Farrington raced clear to score with Hearn again converting, but despite this Bees finished the stronger, closing out with a series of catch and drives.
Tomorrow, Saturday, Bees play host to Otley at the Portway, kick off 2pm.