Bees show promise but leave east with nothing
Bees show plenty of heart but lack cutting edge in 23-10 defeat away at Peterborough Lions
The Bees had nothing to show for their furthest trip east this season, going down 23-10 at Peterborough Lions.
With their exit from the North Midlands Cup the previous Friday and any realistic chance of promotion thwarted by recent defeats to Nuneaton and Broadstreet, there was perhaps a risk that the side wouldn’t turn up mentally for this fixture.
Any such thoughts were quickly scotched as the Bees were 7-0 to the good within the first two minutes of the game, thanks to a well-read interception try by centre Jimmy Oliver, duly converted by Jack Jolly.
However, on a sunny yet still chilly day in Cambridgeshire with the stiff breeze blowing in from the fens, that was to prove the high watermark on another frustrating “nearly-some” afternoon for the Bees.
The next twenty minutes saw two well matched, physical sides, examining each other’s defensive set ups. Following a missed penalty attempt, Lion’s full back Adrian Enwright eventually crossed the Bees’ line after the ball was fed out wide following a sustained assault by his pack. With centre George Offer slotting the conversion, parity was restored at 7 a-piece.
More Lion’s pressure on the Bees’ line earned a yellow card for centre Jevon Hinds, who was joined 3 minutes later by flanker Michael Stephens – adjudged to be off side whilst making one of his trademark scything tackles. With half-time imminent, Offer took the three points on offer, as it were, to give the home side a 10-7 lead at the break.
With the prospect of playing the first seven minutes of the second period with just thirteen men, much – one felt – hinged on how the Bees coped in this crucial period. A Lions try, again using space created out wide, came within just a minute of the restart, although Offer was unable to convert his own score.
With the Bees progressively restored to full strength and Jack Jolly wisely taking the penalty option to cut the deficit to just five points, there was a real prospect of the visitors being able to end the Lions’ unbeaten run of eleven games.
Try as they might, the Bees couldn’t break down a solid Peterborough defence and with time ticking away, they began to chase the game. A penalty for Offer and a well taken try by left wing Will Carrington sealed the 23-10 win for the Lions, to keep the pressure up on promotion rivals Broadstreet, Sheffield and Nuneaton.
For the Bees, the final score line was in many respects an unfair reflection of the effort and spirit shown against the league’s form team. Keeping 15 men on the pitch and being able to convert pressure into tries at key moments would have had a material impact – not only in this game – but also, perhaps, the final outcome of their season.
They will have the opportunity to put this latest set-back behind them, when they welcome Sandbach to Portway this Saturday (1st April, KO 3pm).
Birmingham & Solihull Bees:- (1) Pete Koziot (2) Zane Raimondi (3) Kurtis Payne (4) Andrew Weaver (5) Chris Goddard © (6) Ashley Scriven (7) Michael Stephens (YC) (8) Danny Wright (9) Jack Jolly (P,C) (10) Max Rodman (11) Tawanda Chipadza (12) Jimmy Oliver (T) (13) Jevon Hinds (YC) (14) Matt Dight (15) Chris Fensome. Replacements (16) Joe Foreman (17) Matt Tibbatts (18) Ollie Russell.
Referee: George Richardson