The Bees’ defence of the North Midlands Cup trophy begins in earnest tomorrow at Portway (Friday 17th March, KO 7.45pm) as they welcome Bournville to Portway.
The current cup holders have reached the semi-final stage without “firing a shot”, having had a “walkover” in the quarter final against Newport. The winner of this evening’s game will meet Old Halesonians in the final on Sunday 7th May.
The Bees’ opponents have reached the semis courtesy of two away wins – against Whitchurch (19-41) in the Preliminaries and Bromsgrove (8-72) in the quarters – so a trip to Portway should hold no fears for them.
Bournville currently sit in second place in Midlands 1 West (Tier 6, one division below NLM3) and just three points adrift of leaders Newport (Salop) – the Bees’ opponents in last year’s cup final.
That memorable final on 8th May 2016 against Newport was actually a draw, with both sides level at 20-20 at full time. However, with the cup final rules stating that no extra time could be played, the contest was decided - in somewhat chaotic circumstances - on the number of tries being scored, Newport losing out by two scores to three.
Bournville – a club with ambitious plans both on and off the pitch – come into tomorrow night’s game in a rich vein of form, unbeaten in the last 8 games, with their most recent win last Saturday at home to Stratford Upon Avon. Their side features a number of ex Bees of various vintages and, as always, it will be great to welcome Bees’ alumni back to the fold.
For our part, with promotion now just a remaining mathematical possibility, the North Midlands Cup provides a real opportunity to finish off our season on a high again. The boys from Bournbrook will certainly be up for the cup, but so are we - it should therefore be a cracking game.
The game kicks off under floodlights at 7.45pm, with the bar open from 7pm. Pies, pork baps and soup all available from the Yum Scrum Café, providing a great start to a weekend of rugby. Entrance is just £5 on the gate.
Updated 12:34 - 22 Mar 2017 by Richard Smith