Bulldogs Keep Their Grip
Coventry Bears “A” 6 pts, Birmingham Bulldogs 22
Birmingham Bulldogs Rugby League FC took a numerically under-strength squad to Coventry to face a Bears side that had made them work hard for a win a month earlier. However, what they lacked in numbers Bulldogs made up for with quality in many positions, which, allied, to some terrific defence, laid the ground for a noteworthy victory.
Playing down the slope of an extremely boggy pitch, Brum came under early pressure on their line, but held out well. They then moved clear of defence with a great run from Josh Walker but the attack ended with a knock on.
Bears returned to the attack and Birmingham had something of a lucky escape when the home side knocked on over the line.
At around quarter time, the stalemate was broken as Bulldogs skipper and full back Matt Dudley went on a great, sidestepping run through the home defence to touch down for a try.
Then back to defence for Bulldogs as Cov sought to get back on terms. This they did at around the half-hour mark, going for a “power play” after the fifth tackle which resulted in centre Gareth Gray crossing wide on the right for a try that was well converted by stand off Harry Marks to give his side a two-point lead.
Within three minutes Brum were back in front as, from a scrum restart, half back Olli Sankey galloped through the home defence for a try that was comfortably converted by prop Adam Baldock.
HT: Coventry Bears “A” 6 pts, Birmingham Bulldogs 10
Now playing up the slope, Bulldogs produced some good handling in a raid up the left flank, but the last pass went into touch. Another attack by the visitors soon after ended with them being penalised.
But, in between defensive duties in which the tackling of Perkins was a highlight, Birmingham were beginning to find gaps and a great run up the right touchline from centre Adam Walker took him over for a try that was well goaled by stand off Danny Bancroft.
After another dozen minutes of dogged defence, Brum clinched victory with the move of the match: Farnham, always a threat with ball in hand, broke the home line and fed Adam Walker who provided the assist for left winger Curtis Wellington to stretch out in he tackle for the try. Bancroft added another good goal.
In the remaining minutes, Bears did all they could to cut the gap but, on this occasion, Bulldogs' defence was unyielding and they held out for a commendable win.
Matt Dudley’s stylish display at full back earned him the man-of-the-match accolade, though Wes Perkins’ ran him close with his defensive display.
Bulldogs next match is on Saturday week [July 21] against Northampton Demons.