NATIONAL ONE: Rotherham Earth Titans 24 Pertemps Bees 30
Pertemps Bees head coach Russell Earnshaw says his side still has a chance of National One survival after a superb win.
Earnshaw was delighted to put one over on his former club - but more importantly secure five priceless points as the Sharman's Cross Road outfit ended a run of five successive defeats.
He said: "I think we've turned the corner in the last few weeks and we've now got five games left to try and stay in this division.
"Do I think we can do it? Of course I do. "We've had some close defeats recently, with the last kick against Nottingham and then when we were five minutes away from beating Northampton. I just want to see some action from the players and some character - and we
had plenty of that at Rotherham," he added.
It was the first time Bees had beaten the down-at-heel South Yorkshire side after seven previous defeats and Earnshaw was delighted with the tenacious attitude of his side, especially when Rotherham looked like getting back into the game.
The visitors had made a flying start. They scored after just 40 seconds when Worcester loanee Uche Odouza crashed over the line in his side's first assault, leaving three defenders trailing in his wake.
And when the powerful Markia Vakacegu splintered the Titans' cover and opened the door for Andy Daish to make it 10-0, Bees were well on their way.
Paul Knight tagged on another three on the half-hour when home prop Simon Bunting was penalised for a dreadful forearm challenge, which escaped without a card.
But the Birmingham side's character was put to the test when Geoff Griffiths scored twice for Rotherham inside two minutes. Firstly Griffiths latched on to a lucky bounce from Mike Whitehead's cross-kick and then the centre finished off a great run from South African Errie Claassens. Whitehead converted once to nibble the score back to 13-12 and at that stage the visitors could have collapsed.
But they dug deep and pushed the hosts back towards their own line with Jon Higgins taking advantage of some dire defence to scoot over to give Bees an 18-12 interval lead - although had they not wasted four kicks at goal, three conversion attempts and a penalty, Earnshaw's men could have been out of sight going into the second half.
Instead they were left to trade blows with the Titans before coming off best in a frantic finish.
Jon Feeley's 45th-minute try again left just one point between the sides before former Titan Gareth McComb finished off a strong maul to the line three minutes later.
But the key score came just before the hour as replacement Nicky Griffiths snatched the ball from the base of a ten metre scrum and made an arcing run to the whitewash. Knight's conversion made it 30-17.
Rotherham desperately tried to get back into the game, but hampered by the loss of influential prop Stuart Corsar and two-try Griffiths with a knee injury, they just didn't have enough power to overcome the gritty Bees.
Titans did pull a try back when Jacobsz scored in a goal-line melee to leave Bees leading by just six points.
And when Rotherham were awarded a penalty, moved forwards ten metres by referee Richard Draper for arguing, it looked as though the visitors could be in for more late, late heartbreak.
But it came to nothing and Bees were left to celebrate a vital win.
Added Earnshaw: "We've got a good run-in and we know what we've got to do. If we play like this then we've got a good chance."
ROTHERHAM TITANS: Whitehead; Feeley, Griffiths (Hallam, 40), Lawson, Claassens; Allen, Chivers; Corsar (Bunting, 25), Corrigan (Conroy, 48), Boulton,Smith (McGowan, 53), Dunlop, Jacobsz, Cochrane (Burrows, 80), McComish. Replacements: Lennard, McMillan.
PERTEMPS BEES: Spee; Vakacegu, Young, D Knight, Odouza; Higgins (Griffiths, 40), P Knight; Long (Redelinghuys, 22), Pearl, Bucknall, Davidson, McComb, Matthews, Daish, Earnshaw. Replacements: Uakazuwaka, Bick, Maggs, Aston, Preece.
Referee: Richard Draper (RFU).