Bromsgrove 28, Birmingham Solihull 34

BROMSGROVE gave a much-improved performance against in-form Birmingham and Solihull in the National Two North.

Despite their relegation confirmed by this defeat, the Boars produced plenty of spirit.

The visitors got off to a flying start when second row Matt Spink was sent over near the corner after some poor defending, although he did appear to have put a foot in touch on his way. Adam Canning converted.

Things didn’t get any better for the hosts when Canning added a penalty five minutes later.

Bromsgrove were struggling to get into the game, and after 20 minutes full back Chris Phenmore scored an excellent try, which Canning again converted.

The home team did not let their heads drop and battled their way back into the match.

The hard-working Sol Dacres went over close to the posts, with Jon Critchlow converting to reduce the arrears to 17-7 by half-time.

It was Bromsgrove’s turn to open the half with a flourish when the ever-impressive Dave Hughes raced in for a try, with Critchlow again converting.

But the Bees came storming back by scoring two carbon- copy catch-and-drive tries in five minutes through replacement front row Nick Bingham, followed by another for replacement back Robert Connolly on 63 minutes to give them a seemingly unassailable 14-34 lead.

Bromsgrove weren’t done and scrum-half Dave Brazier got a cheeky touchdown on 65 minutes followed shortly after by a fine solo effort from Ben Palmer, which were both converted by Critchlow.

A frantic last 10 minutes was played out but unfortunately for the home side no magic score.

Two bonus points and a much improved-performance giving optimism for the future if the bulk of this young team can stay together.

On Saturday, Sedgeley Park visit Finstall Park (3pm ko).

Meanwhile, the under-12s hosted a festival of high-quality rugby in glorious sunshine on Sunday as Worcester Warriors held their leg of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.

Clubs from across the North Midlands went head to head at Finstall Park, with the prize a spot in the ‘Parade of Champions’ during half-time of the Aviva Premiership Grand Final.

Under the watchful eye of Worcester Warriors duo Josh Drauniniu and Semisi Taulava, Bromsgrove fell short in their pursuit of victory.