Parkinson seals last-gasp win for Sedgley Park Tigers

Sedgley won at the last against Birmingham
Sedgley won at the last against Birmingham
©Talking Rugby Union

Ollie Parkinson scored a last-minute try to hand Sedgley Park Tigers a 29-27 win over Birmingham Bees in National League Two North.

It was a very entertaining first half with Bees scoring three wonderful counter attack tries giving them a good half-time lead.

National League 2 North Results - 4th October 2014

Birmingham & Solihull 27-29 Sedgley Park

Leicester Lions 12-19 Huddersfield

Preston Grasshoppers 9-57 Ampthill & District

Chester 32-20 Broadstreet

Harrogate 26-23 Otley

Hull Ionians 52-15 Stockport

Luctonians 20-23 Hull

Stourbridge 29-30 Caldy

"Bees had definitely done the homework on Tigers but I don't think they expected a 30 second lead as winger James Oliver went over out wide right for try number one," Sedge Tiger revealed

The very impressive Adam Canning kicked the extras.

Sedge hit back through a big pick and go smash from Ben Black who had another strong game as he went over on 9 minutes.

Black alongside Ashcroft and West out scrummaged the Bees; during the first half, the Tigers pack did everything right, but as a collective on the front foot Sedge looked off key and struggled to put some phases together. The below par tackling in the centres was exploited by the Bees.

At times the Sedge half backs seemed to over complicate the attacks and the timing of passes was poor.

It was Bees in the 13th minute from a Tigers failed defensive re-start who scored next as Adam Canning kicked a penalty to extend the home side lead. This season the Tigers have been caught napping at re-starts.

Three minutes later in the 16th minute Bees added a second try orchestrated by the impressive Bees fly half Adam Canning who saw a gap, found a great pass to his half back partner Jack Jolly putting him in for a breakaway try.

Tigers hit back with Steve Collins pinning Bees into their own 22. A couple of big phases saw number 8 Ryan Parkinson take control and smash over for Tigers second try on 25 minutes.

Birmingham and Solihull Bees have added some impressive gas in the back three to replace their key man, Oscar Heath. This was best demonstrated with Bees third try as winger Alex O Malley went over after some great interchange passing on 27 minutes.

Matt Riley added three more points before the break.

Halftime: Birmingham and Solihull Bees 20 Sedgley Park 17

The second half saw the Tigers with 95% of the procession and it seemed an extremely one sided affair. On at least 4 occasions the Tigers should have crossed the line for tries but fumbles or knock ons thwarted their efforts. The Tigers scrum was increasingly dominant and seemed to be camped on the 5 metre line for minutes on end.

The second row combination of Olli Parkinson and Juan Crous dominated the fringes. More and more they were able to break the gain line together with Ryan Parkinson and George Hynes. This powerful play on the Bees 22m resulted in Steve Collins finding Matt Riley on the hoof for try number three on 62 minutes.

From the re-start The Tigers pack were lazy and failed to set up properly, ultimately losing control of the ball and Bees did the rest with a well worked counter attack as second row forward Rupert Giles got their bonus point.

Adam Canning kicked the conversion.

The final 8 minutes of the game saw the Tigers back on the attack and importantly they maintained possession. It did look as though at least 3 Bees players were playing with significant injuries during the latter stages and their defence was heroic.

Both forwards and backs interchanged across the width of the pitch; replacement hooker Blackwell tidied up the one loose ball of this phase, setting the ruck midfield with options left and right. The ball was spun right looking for the line, good hands from Ashcroft and Riley taking the play closer to the line. The ball then went back across the field where a 3 man overlap appeared and Ollie Parkinson went over for Tigers bonus point winning try.

The Tigers coaches will have been pleased with the win but will demand better consistency from their backs in the coming weeks. They will be pleased with the progress of West and Blackwell at hooker but will demand better organisation and leadership at the restart.

The Bees management will wonder how they failed to gain procession and territory in the 2nd half thereby giving away their incredible first half display.

National League Rugby