RFU National League One: Barking 33 Birmingham & Solihull 29

Birmingham & Solihull were forced to settle for two bonus points at Barking despite matching their opponents for much of the match.

Both sides scored four tries but it was Barking who ran out winners at Goresbrook in National League One.

Bees will need to learn to start playing from the first whistle of each half as they conceded tries early in both periods and that forced them to play a game of catch-up that they could never quite manage.

It was even more frustrating for Bees as their opponents played most of the match with a makeshift scrum-half after Tom Parker’s injury.

The visitors can take consolation from the bonus points that were secured by Charlie Sadler’s last-minute try and Dan Hawkes’ conversion.

The hosts clinched victory in the 71st minute when Bees spilled the ball and Barking outside-centre Andrew Henderson pounced on it and sprinted 80 metres to touch down in the corner.

Henderson opened the scoring after just four minutes following good build-up play by flanker Samuel Reynolds.

Bees hit back two minutes later through Greg Evans but the pattern of the match was set. With five minutes remaining in the first half, a penalty sent Bees back into dangerous territory and Henderson combined with Charles Broughton to send Parker over from close range.

The half finished 17-12 after Sadler went in at the right corner for the first of his scores and Hawkes converted from the touchline.

Barking scored almost from the kick-off as Matt Reeves spilled the ball and Thomas Burns drove over.

While Ed Ambrose was off the field, Warwick Lahmert scooted over from a five-metre scrum to keep Bees in touch.

BARKING: Neale, Broughton, Henderson, Burcham, Flannery, Ashwin, Parker, Kavanagh, Bloomberg, Ambrose E, Burns, Smith, Wood, Reynolds, Dwyer. Replacements: Ambrose F, Jones S, Sinfield, Jones C, Hardy.

BIRMINGHAM & SOLIHULL: Lowden, Sadler, White, Evans, Pons, Hawkes, Lahmert, Long, Preece, Darkinitis, Quarrie, Todd, Farmer, Reeves, Earnshaw. Replacements: Tau, Padian, Radburn, Pepe, Stajka.