Bridgnorth 15 Birmingham/Solihull 34
There is no doubt Bridgnorth are finding life in the Midlands Premier League difficult as they gave an unusually lack-lustre performance against an extremely big and powerful Birmingham Bees side.
Bridgnorth defended desparately for twenty minutes, conceding penalties galore and Bridgnorth escaped when two attempts just missed. Bridgnorth with some wayward kicks for touch just gave their opponents the ball back with room to get mobile. Bees exploited a huge gap for a gift try under the posts, with an easy conversion. At last Bridgnorth gained a penalty with a loud cynical cheer from the large home crowd and Llew Williams got the All-Blacks on the board 3-7 The referee controlled some horizontal hand-bagging with a yellow card against a Bees player, but the advantage, as last week, was lost, when Connor Nicholls also joined him on the touch line.
Young Richard Addison at last got his backline moving and a clever grub kick through the feet of the advancing defence by Will Bishop, found the ever alert Matt Farrington on hand to touch down between the sticks.
Bishop unfortunately then missed the simplest of kicks, but Bridgnorth just had their noses in front 8-7
A powerful breakaway by Bees was only halted by a last ditch tackle, deemed high by the referee so the penalty try doubled the visitors score In a similar long burst yet another try was deemed invalid by an over elaborate dive failed to ground the ball properly, making the half time score 8-14
Birmingham exploited some weak tackling in midfield to add two more goals and a penalty and at 8-31 Bridgnorth looked down and out, but again, as last week, they rallied with Joe Cave and Tim Breakwell back in action some long accurate passing gained good ground for James Hill to score and Llew Williams converted to make the score 15-31,
In the dying minutes Bees clinched a clear victory with a long range penalty by 15-34
Young Richard Addison did well with limited possession but Bridgnorth inability to clear their lines in defence was their main failing, Although Rugby is a running and handling game, the ability to kick accurately out of hand or off the ground, wins more games and Bridgnorth have conceded 90 points from a boatload of penalties in three league games so far. Bridgnorth coaching staff will be studying footage of exactly who is creating the offences in the many breakdowns in play, and a kicking strategy must surely be a priority and perhaps remember some of the best kickers in the world have been forwards.
There may be some hidden talent in the pack!
Next week Bridgnorth travel to Bournville. The good news is they lost to Birmingham Bees 54-8. The bad news is they beat Sandbach last weeks victorious opponents 43-17