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They shall not pass

BEES will be renewing old acquaintances when they play Rotherham away in the third leg of their six match relegation play off tomorrow, Saturday.

BEES will be renewing old acquaintances when they play Rotherham away in the third leg of their six match relegation play off tomorrow, Saturday.

Player coach Russell Earnshaw played for the Yorkshire side for four years while ex-Bees players in their line up include prop Craig Voisey, one of the pillars of their National League 2 winning season of 2009/10.

And while both teams have won their opening two games - against Moseley and Coventry - Earnshaw feels his side are the underdogs.

“Rotherham are a good club and for us to play them at Clifton Road is quite a proposition,” said the No8.

“They’re big up front but will play with a bit more width, especially as they have two significant centres in PJ Gidlow and ex-Ireland international Kevin Maggs, plus one of the best No10s in the business in Mike Whitehead.”

Both teams will be playing on the back of two astonishing wins - Rotherham overhauling a huge Moseley lead to win 29-30 at Billesley Common while Bees survived two yellows to beat Coventry 18-22 at the Butts Stadium.

Bees certainly did themselves no favours against Coventry, but in the end they were not as culpable as the home side, who started much as expected through their big pack.

However Bees rode out the initial storm and flanker Rob Connolly opened their account on 18 minutes with winger Simon Hunt converting.

Coventry prop James Hall then crashed over on 29 minutes, but No10 Ben Russell, who missed one penalty and three conversions, fluffed the two points.

Back came Bees, Hunt cruising through to score under the posts, converting his own try.

Seconds after Bees lost Rob Bell to the first yellow Coventry lock Henno Venter crash over, but only for the five points, before Connolly nudged the visitors further ahead. However Russell pulled it back to 13-19 at half time with a successful penalty.

There then followed a nail biting last 40 minutes, Coventry centre John Holtby making it 18-19, a Hunt penalty in reply taking the score to 18-22 when in the dying moments of the match lock Ross Noonan got his marching orders, setting up a tense last few minutes as Coventry pounded the Bees line, but failing to score.

 

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