NATIONAL TWO: BIRMINGHAM & SOLIHULL 115 WATERLOO 0
As the Bees took another step towards National Two glory, they sent the records tumbling in their wake.
But while Mark Woodrow was playing down his 15 successful conversions and leading try scorer Simon Hunt quietly edged towards another record for the most tries in a season, one player was just happy to be out on the pitch.
Andy Daish has had a wretched six months. A shoulder injury picked up in the pre-season clash with Bridgend put him on the sidelines until February and he then broke his hand on his return to the first team – against Cinderford in the cup.
His latest comeback was far more positive – 15 minutes of trouble-free rugby with a try thrown in for good measure.
“It is great to come back and to get on the scoresheet,” Daish admitted. “I was hoping the ref was going to carry on for a few more minutes!
“There has been a lot of training and a lot of off-pitch stuff going on so it’s good to be out there running again.
“Mentally it has been very demanding and that’s been the hardest thing. You are constantly questioning your body, asking why it has let you down. You are then relying on other people around you – the boys in the changing room, girlfriend and family – to keep you in there.
“But coming back into the side and scoring makes it worth all the hard work. There’s a lot of competition for places but I’m just hoping I can get a few more games now before the end of the season.”
Daish’s try, along with vital assists to set-up Rod Petty and Sam Brown, came in a frenetic period late in the game when the Bees were able to score at will against an exhausted and demoralised Waterloo side.
Six tries came in the last ten minutes including Hunt’s hat-trick score which took his side into treble figures – much to the anguish of the scoreboard operator – and brought the biggest cheer of the afternoon.
Petty also ran in a hat-trick – his second in three games – while the other tries were shared around the rest of the side. Reece Spee claimed a first half double to add to scores from Woodrow, Mitch Culpin, Jack Preece, Chris Brightwell, Leo Halavatau, Sam Brown, Rob Connolly and James Aston.
And it was that teamwork that was most pleasing to coach Eugene Martin.
“Players know that if they don’t follow the game plan and play as a team of 15 then they will find themselves on the bench or not in the squad at all,” he explained. “There were a number of times when they [players] passed rather than looking for glory themselves. At this point of the season we are really looking at being perfectionists.
“We talk about being ruthless, professional and relentless both in attack and defence.
“I take my hat off to Waterloo though – they could easily have started killing rucks but they stuck to it.”
BEES: Spee, Hunt, Tomlinson, Petty, Culpin (Aston, 56), Woodrow, Brown; Lawrence (Long, 56), Preece, Voisey, Davidson, Pammenter, Brightwell (Phillips, 45), Clayton (Connolly, 56), Halavatau (Daish, 66).
WATERLOO: Briers, Kerfoot, Duffy, Payne, O’Brien, Reeve (Banahan, 53), Hale; O’Keefe (M Davies, 66), Rylance (Gibney, 45), J Hall, Coyne, Harrington, T Davies, D Hall Bell. Replacement: Nolan.