Broadstreet Rugby Football Club completed the double over neighbours Birmingham & Solihull in a seven try, maximum five point bonanza home win, despite a lacklustre first half saw ‘Street trailing 12 – 14 less than ten minutes into the second half writes Bob Harcourt
The early signs showed a drop in concentration from last week as poor kicking and wrong options littered ‘Street’s dominant early play; disappointingly yielding only, a Henry Sandys’, Ben Palmer converted try, scored after fourteen minutes following a trade mark Nick Thatcher break saw him hauled down just short and the good support play of Sandys finished it off; and a Jeff Gregson five – pointer just before the break. Bees got over at the end of the first quarter to stay in touch at 12 – 7 as both kickers; Palmer and Adam Canning for the visitors, missed a penalty chance apiece.
Half Time: Broadstreet 12 Birmingham & Solihull 7
Thankfully, the Boys in Red started to come good, but not before the Bees had taken the lead early in the second period through centre Steve Johns’ touch down converted by Canning, after a telling break by full back Jimmy Oliver, to take the lead, 12 – 14. Thereafter, play greatly improved and ‘Street powered home with five more tries to just one more from the visitors. The forward pack drove Bees back at a scrum and gained a Penalty try (51 minutes) for 19 – 14; then Gregson got his second (59), courtesy of good hands from Ben Palmer and replacement centre James Otutaha – not converted, 24 – 14, before Bees blind side wing forward Rob Connolly finished off good phase play with a try (63) and conversion by Canning; making it look like it was going to be one of those days – 24 - 21.
Three more quality tries in the last fourteen minutes settled home nerves as first left wing flyer Josh Palmer (66) dived in at the corner, after a replacement scrum half Pierre Ferre had made the running down the blindside from a scrum just inside Bees territory. Ben Palmer converted to give a ten point lead at 31 – 21. A promising break by replacement hooker Gareth Turner ended in a penalty to Bees but the visitors transgressed shortly after allowing ‘Street to play deep into Bees 22 and from a resulting lineout drive the ball went out to Ben Palmer at fly half, who delivered an exquisite flat pass to Otutaha, timing his run perfectly and at pace to back foot the defence, before popping a two on one to the ever supporting full back Andy Murray. Palmer’s conversion attempt missed by just a whisker, 36 – 21
‘Street’s Man-of-the Match number eight, Jack Gibbons, topped the forty point mark as he finished off some great approach play all round with an unconverted try wide left with four minutes left on the clock.
Final Score: Broadstreet 41 Birmingham & Solihull 21.
Mrs Freemantle says that referee Llyr apGeraint-Roberts; aided by his Assistants, Messrs Smith and Farndon, deserve a mention for being up there with the best officiating experienced so far this season. The game management commentary revealed understanding and empathy in helping to produce a genial afternoon for players and spectators alike. Many thanks!
Thought for the Match:
Margins, the smallest of margins, often win and lose games! The thought before the game that this encounter was eminently winnable, which it was, was enough to effect a drop in performance compared to pre-game thoughts last week, which had us believing that Ampthill would be a tough ask when forecasting an outcome. That variance in expectation is marginal, but enough to take the edge off our performance and Bees’ dogged resistance to ‘Street’s ample possession and territory without gaining scoreboard dominance in that first hour, was really the awakening; but, we shouldn’t have been dozing in the first place. Every game is a big game!
Squad: Andy Murray; Jefferey Gregson, Nathan Tilsley, Luke Myring, Josh Palmer; Ben Palmer, Nick Thatcher; Rob Dugard, Stewart Pearl, Henry Sandys; Callum Tucker, Matthew Solomon; Chris Wood, Dan Martin, Jack Gibbons. Joe Foreman, Gareth Turner, Jacques Le Roux, Pierre Ferre, James Otutaha.
A Very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to All!