Greater Birmingham Reach North Mids Final
Congratulations to Marcus Harewood who was part of the GB squad that booked a place in the final with an 18-13 win over Shropshire last night.
Tom McNamee unfortunately had to withdraw from the team after picking up a shoulder injury in Aston's 33-7 victory over Llanishen at the weekend.
Greater Birmingham booked their place in this season's RLF North Midlands Championship final by beating Shropshire 18-13 in tonight's final group match at Telford's Town Park.
Shropshire needed to win by a margin of at least six points to deny Greater Birmingham their place in the final but they managed to take the lead only briefly midway through the second half.
Two penalties from Greater Birmingham fly-half Jimmy Oliver (Camp Hill) sealed Shropshire's fate a secured a re-run of last season's final against defending champions Worcestershire & Herefordshire at Stourbridge on May 15 (7.30pm).
Greater Birmingham, who beat Worcestershire & Herefordshire in the opening group match two weeks ago, were 12-0 up at half-time after full-back Chris Humphrey (Bournville) crossed for a 14th minute try followed by flanker Darren Forder (Camp Hill) who crossed on the overlap after a period of sustained pressure.
Oliver converted the second try but Shropshire recovered from their shaky start and came close to reducing the deficit in the dying minutes of the first half.
Full-back Joe Doyle (Ludlow) threaded a lovely grubber kick through the Greater Birmingham defence but left wing Mike Jones (Ludlow) was adjudged to have fumbled as he went over the line.
Shropshire fly-half Matt Farrington (Dudley Kingswinford) pulled back three points with a 45th minute penalty before centre Mike Preece (Bridgnorth) cut through to create a try for his club-mate and centre partner Craig Thomas.
Farrington added the conversion from under the posts then raised Shropshire's hopes of a final appearance when he put over a penalty ten minutes later.
But the lead lasted only two minutes as Oliver put Greater Birmingham back in front with a well struck penalty and he added a second ten minutes from time.
Oliver was off target with another penalty attempt and Greater Birmingham required some determined defence close to their own line to deny Shropshire the equalising try in injury time.