By Colin Heward
Late minute penalty gives victory to Bees
A bit of a breezy and a heavy pitch but otherwise good conditions today for the Colts return fixture with Hereford.
Hereford kick off and Bees recycle a couple of times before knocking on. From the scrum Hereford recycle before kicking for territory, with Bees kicking a return to touch on Herefords 22 after initially recycling. Play between the respective 22s was the order of the day for a highly completive first 20 minutes. Hereford probably kicking to touch from open play a little more than Bees to use the wind advantage. But both defences holding up well and nullifying both attacks. Deadlock broken at a Hereford lineout where a break through the lineout and some missed tackles from Bees allowing the Hereford second row to go through the defence and over on the 20 minute mark. Converted for 0-7.
Bees had competed well but the first score moved thing up a notch and when they found themselves back up into the Hereford 22 where there were passages of fierce competition and some excellent counter rucking but no points. Hereford clearing and continuing to stifle the Bees attack with good defence. Hereford edged the half and playing from a knock on advantage in their own half broke initially up to Bees 22. Quick ball allowing them to break through and score (converted) to close out the half 0-14. Felt like it was going to be one of those days.
Bees needed something to get some points on the board and did just that with a bright start to the second half. A great take by Josh from Bees restart made the first yards up to the 22. Hereford hands in the ruck allowing Bees to go to touch 5m out. Initially success at the lineout followed by some good recycling and pressure on Hereford’s line before knocking on. Hereford clear from the scrum but only to the 22. From the resultant line out Bees maul before going wide with a final long pass to Josh giving him the space to go over. Noah converts for 7-14 39 minutes in.
Back to the active competition of the first 20 minutes of the first half with the occasional half break but both defences standing firm. A lateish tackle and holding stopping a Hereford attack creating some more space for the backs with a few cards issued. 2-1 advantage to Hereford about right but not sure about the identities. Hereford couldn’t make the numerical advantage work and Bees managed to contain Hereford mainly to their half. Hereford hands in the ruck allowing Bees to make progress upfield and then progress up into Hereford’s 22 in midfield. Quick ball and out wide and the extra space taken advantage of by Nathan to go over in the corner. 62 minutes in for 12-14.
Back to the healthy competition and the odd forward blowing sees Hereford with the first chance with a kick and chase just being saved by Bees for a 22 drop out. Progress upfield and a Hereford offence on halfway giving Bees a centrefield penalty. Posts opted for with the clock ticking down. The ball was dropping short and was knocked on by Hereford to give Bees a 5m scrum. Ball secured and initial charges thwarted but over zealous defence gave Bees a penalty and so a chance to win it with the last kick of the game. Noah nervelessly slots it home. For me, the best game of the season so far for the effort and commitment from both sides. Looking forward to seeing them go head to head again in a few weeks.