EDF ENERGY NATIONAL TROPHY
Birmingham & Solihull head coach Russell Earnshaw was proud of his players’ display after they came from behind twice to record a 15-10 extra-time victory over the Cornish All Blacks in the fourth round of the National Trophy at Polson Bridge.
The visitors were five points down at half-time thanks to home No.8 Sam Hocking’s unconverted try, but struck back early in the second half through Rob Connolly’s right wing touchdown.
The hosts took the lead again in the 75th minute through centre Ryan Westren before replacement fly-half Rod Petty put the teams back on level terms in the dying minutes. Both teams had chances in extra time but it was Birmingham’s Jack Preece who won the day, scoring in the left corner as the visitors gained the upper hand physically and territorially the longer the game went on.
A delighted Earnshaw said: “I said to the boys that I was really proud of their efforts. We knew they were going to give us a decent game. I know they had a few missing and it was the same for us, but I thought our effort levels were brilliant.
“I thought our defence was very good today, maybe not so good close to the ruck, but outside there, the shape was good and overall I’m happy.”
n?Broadstreet’s National Trophy run ended in a heartbreaking 18-17 defeat to Bridgwater & Albion but left them with growing confidence for the second half of their Midlands One campaign as they push from promotion back to the National Leagues. The Warwickshire Cup holders – bidding to claim a third National Division Three scalp – led twice in a pulsating tie at Binley Woods, only to be floored by a long-range penalty five minutes from the end.
There were still chances for the never-say-die hosts to pull the game back their way, but a Dan Richards drop goal attempt dipped underneath the crossbar before the fly-half was stopped short of the line.