Bees run riot in as Lichfield run out of gas
Second half masterclass makes light work of Lichfield
Match Report by Ethan Walker
The Bees maintained their unbeaten league record at Portway on Saturday with a 12 try rout of Lichfield, keeping them in second spot in the league - just one point behind leaders, Peterborough Lions.
Following an emphatic victory the previous weekend, when the Bees their booked place in the semi-finals of the North Midlands Cup, Lichfield were the next opponents in the Midlands Premier League. The visitors had come to Portway following a narrow 34-31 defeat at home to Sandbach two weeks previously and were eager to get back to winning ways. The Bees, on the other hand were intent on maintaining their undefeated start to the league campaign.
The Bees started the stronger of the two sides with JT Nabetelevu dotting down early on after a sublime solo effort from his own 10m line. Shedding would-be tacklers, he got the home side’s game off to the start that home supporters are becoming accustomed to.
Shortly after, fellow winger Tawanda Chipadza put the Bees further ahead following some poor tackling by Lichfield’s defence. Skipper Jack Jolly was able to convert on the second try, making the score 12-0 with only 10 minutes on the clock.
Umraan Jadwatt continues to plough through opposition defences and the rangy Bees number 8 put his side on the front foot by picking up from the base of the scrum, allowing Max Rodman to run and offload a perfectly timed pass to centre Nathan Tilsley who ran the ball in to score in the corner.
At 17-0 it seemed as though the men in black and yellow were in total control. However, an inventive line out move saw Lichfield begin their mini fight back - lock Cam Turner getting the score to make it 17-5.
Both sides had good spells during the first half and Lichfield could have narrowed the gap further if they hadn’t squandered a “5 on 2” opportunity. It was the home side who had the next say in the match though - fly half Rodman with the try and Jolly with the conversion to give them their bonus point with still 10 minutes left on the clock before the intermission.
Lichfield were still undeterred and managed to score right on the brink of half time - this time it was winger Jack Dace breaking tackles, allowing prop Birt to rumble his way over to make the score 24-12 after a successful conversion by the Lichfield full back.
Both sets of supporters were pleased with what they had witnessed during the first half and were expecting more of the same in the second. An early sin bin for flanker Ashley Scriven didn’t knock Bees off their stride and “JT” was soon over the line for his second try of the game. Lichfield responded almost immediately with a try and conversion to put the score at 29-17. But that would prove to be Lichfield’s final addition to the scoreboard as the home side cut loose.
Superior fitness saw a ruthless Bees score a further seven unanswered tries. The tries came from substitute Matt Spink, Jack Secher, Umraan Jadwatt and “Chip” who secured his second try of the game. Full back Harry O Brien also managed to bag two tries, while JT added a third for his hat trick. Jolly added another 3 conversions and with one slotted over by O’Brien, taking the final score to 72-17, with a total of 12 tries and 6 conversions.
Post match, Head of Rugby Pete Glackin reiterated his “one game at a time” approach and attentions have already switched over to this week’s game away at Longton. A homecoming for JT to his former club, in what has historically been a hard-fought game at Trentham Fields.
Birmingham & Solihull Bees:- 1. Joe Foreman, 2 Zane Raimondi, 3. Matt Probert, 4. Andy Weaver, 5. Danny Wright, 6. Ashley Scriven (YC), 7. Michael Stephens, 8 Umraan Jadwatt (T), 9. Jack Jolly (5C) ©, 10. Max Rodman (T), 11. Tawanda Chipadza (2T), 12. Nathan Tilsley (T), 13. Steve Johns, 14. JT Nabetelevu (3T), 15. Harry O’Brien (2T,C), 16. Harry Smith, 17. Matt Spink (T) & 18. Jack Secher (T).
Referee: George Richardson