Bournville see yellow as the Bees impress gain at Portway
Bees show class in attack and defence to convincingly beat local rivals Bournville
Match Report by Ethan Walker
The Bees notched up their second successive home win of the season with a convincing victory against Bournville, who racked up no less than four yellow cards in the opening period. Going into the break 30-8 up with the bonus point already secured, an impressive defensive display in the second half saw the home side increase their points tally to 54 points, without conceding a score.
After last weekend’s hard-fought win against Scunthorpe, the Bees were looking to make it two out of two at start of their season against local rivals Bournville.
Promoted to the Midlands Premier League as well as defeating the Bees on route to the North Midlands Cup last season, the hosts were understandably cautious of a Bournville side that had recruited heavily over the summer. A series of mini showers before kick-off pointed to some greasy conditions which only served to add to the tension.
Nevertheless, Bees skipper Jack Jolly settled early nerves, slotting an early penalty after an infringement at the break down to give an early lead. Bournville responded with some good possession around the half way line, with excellent service from their half backs, making the visitors look dangerous in attack. Eventually the pressure yielded a penalty, which fly half Alex Warner calmly converted to level the score at 3-3.
For the second week running, Pete Glackin’s side showed their prowess and expertise at the line out to secure ball in the opposition’s 22. The backs linked well when full back Harry O’Brien gave a long miss pass to debutant JT Nabetelevu. The young former Longton winger showed good pace and a sublime step to score his first try of his Bees’ career. Jolly was unable to make the conversion, leaving the score at 8-3.
The men in black and yellow then decided to turn up the heat and from the subsequent restart, retaining the ball well and putting Bournville on the back foot again. It seemed that the message from the Bees’ camp was to be clinical and play with tempo. Their endeavour was to soon pay off. After a surging run from flanker Michael Stephens, the referee deemed that there had been a deliberate knock on by his opposite number. Jack Price’s yellow card was to be the first of four shown to a Bournville player in the first half.
Moments later Max Rodman secured his first try of the season, after another successful line out and line busting run from centre Nathan Tilsley, leaving Bournville behind 13-3 with 19 minutes on the clock. A second yellow card to Bournville’s number 8 Drew Harper left them with only 13 players on the pitch.
The Bees looked to press home their numerical advantage with another well executed lineout and catch and drive, which was brought down on the line. Referee Matt Astle did little for his popularity ratings with visiting supporters in awarding a penalty try and showing a third yellow card – this time to lock Tom Holliday. With new world rugby laws now in operation, there was no conversion required and a full seven points awarded, stretching the home side’s lead to 20-3.
Bournville had a chance to get some points of their own with a relatively simple penalty, but Warner pushed the attempt wide. Then Umraan Jadwatt had the Bees faithful on their toes as the new signing stretched his legs through the middle of the Bournville defence. Fly half Rodman continued to cause havoc his mazy runs through a wall of players, until he was tripped up by Warner who was duly shown his side’s fourth yellow card. Jolly opted to take the kickable penalty to make it 23-3.
Bournville are clearly a side not lacking in fight or spirit, and this was demonstrated by winger Warren Oliver who scored in the corner after some good set piece play. The conversion was missed and that would prove to be their final score of the afternoon.
The Bees responded immediately and some more intricate back play enabled ‘JT’ to cross the line for the second time. With Jolly adding the extras, Birmingham and Solihull went into the break with a healthy 30-8 lead.
After the interval, there was no change in mind set from the Bees and yet more mesmerising runs from Rodman. Yet it was the home side’s turn to get on the wrong side of referee Astle, with JT sent to the dugout for 10 minutes for a high tackle.
Bournville looked to seize the initiative but it was Bees centre Jimmy Oliver who effectively put the game to bed at 37-8 with a break away try, easily converted by Jolly. A very fit Bees side seemed to have the edge on their opponents in every department and continued to apply more pressure, with Jolly converting another penalty to take the score line to 40-8.
Jadwatt showed no sign of letting up and another trademark break left him with one defender to beat. He got the pass away to teammate Nathan Tilsley, but the burly centre was held up after excellent cover work by the Bournville defence. From the resulting 5m scrum, the Bees No.8 got his just reward, picking up from the base and going over the line, much to the delight of the Bees fans.
Bournville never threw the towel in and they laid siege to the Bees’ line. The impressive home defence remained unbreeched, holding off Bournville for a full five minutes without the ball. A late try by Bees second rower Danny Wright in final play, again converted by Jolly, sealed what was an emphatic 54-8 victory for the home side. Attention now turns to Bridgnorth, the first away game of the new season (KO 3pm, Saturday 16th September).
Birmingham & Solihull:- 1. Joe Foreman, 2. Zane Raimondi, 3. Kurtis Payne, 4. Andy Weaver, 5. Danny Wright (T), 6. Ashley Scriven, 7. Michael Stephens, 8 Umraan Jadwatt (T), 9. Jack Jolly © (3P,3C) 10. Max Rodman (T) , 11. Steve Johns, 12. Nathan Tilsley, 13. Jimmy Oliver (T), 14. JT Nabetelevu (2T), 15. Harry O’Brien, 16. Matt Probert, 17. Matt Spink & 18. Ben Phillips. Penalty Try(1).
Referee: Matt Astle