BIRMINGHAM & Solihull Bees are just one win away from securing automatic promotion from the Midlands Premier following their emphatic 80-5 victory over basement boys Old Halesonians.
The men from Wassell Grove were able to deny the hosts for the first 20 minutes of the game, coming out on top in the scrummaging contest all afternoon, and kept going right until the end to bag the final score of the game.
Once the Bees eventually did manage to get some possession after this initial period, they racked up 49 points in a devastating 20-minute spell which firmly underlined their credentials as champions-elect.
Seven tries – two from Nathan Tilsley to add to his brace last week, plus individual scores of the highest quality from Umraan Jadwat, Danny Wright, Marcus Brown, Max Rodman and Chipdaza Tawanda, all successfully converted by Jack Jolly – put the contest to bed and secured the bonus point before referee Jake Hill had blown his half-time whistle.
Again, much to Old Halesonians’ credit, the Bees were unable to match the rate of scoring in the second half.
That been said, Jadwat stormed through for another two tries to seal his hat-trick, with forward colleagues Matt Spink and the gazelle-like Joe Foreman both getting in on the act with a try apiece.
Substitute Harry O’Brien flew the flag for the back division to make it five second-half tries with a further two Jolly conversions to take the Bees’ tally up to 80 points.
Debutant Charley Robinson impressed at hooker, late replacement Matt Dight showed glimpses of his electric pace and man of the match Jimmy Oliver at times displayed footwork that would not look out of place on Strictly.
Birmingham & Solihull’s success this season has been as much about their defence as attack and for 75 minutes they were as disciplined and effective as ever.
Pete Glackin and Stewart Pearl’s side would therefore have been perhaps a shade disappointed to concede a last-gasp try – Harry Hicks deservedly crossing the whitewash for the visitors – with winger Ethan Walker unable to slot the conversion from the touchline.
Despite a Peterborough Lions win away at Sandbach, a bonus-point win against Newport Salop at home on Saturday will be sufficient to see the Bees crowned outright champions, with three games still in the bank.
Before that, the Bees have the small matter of a North Midlands Cup semi-final derby against Bromsgrove under floodlights at Portway tonight (Thursday).