6th Mar, 2021

Critchlow leads Boars to victory over rivals

Bromsgrove Editorial 18th Sep, 2015 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

A MASTERCLASS from Jon Critchlow saw Bromsgrove defeat local rivals Birmingham and Solihull at Portway on Saturday.

The full back scored a try, set up another and landed three successful kicks, including one from long range, to secure his side a second successive win in National Three Midlands.

Steve Leach struck twice for the hosts who threatened to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but the Boars held on to inflict more misery on their opponents.

Bees. who were relegated from National Two North last season, would have been looking to bounce back after their disappointing defeat to Syston.

But they quickly found themselves behind as Bromsgrove struck within the opening minute. Phil Horton and Gino Belmonte set the platform before some quick handing found Critchlow who sprinted in to touch down. Critchlow added the extras.

The lead did not last long, though, as almost straight from the kick off Bees won a line out 20 metres from the Boars line and trundled forward before Leach crashed over.

Scott Harman landed the conversion to level the scores at 7-7 after just five minutes.

Despite the set back, Bromsgrove were looking the stronger side as they mounted heavy pressure in Bees’ half before scoring their next try.

And it came in superb style as Critchlow showed great vision to take the defence wide out to the left, which created space inside for Ollie Bache to switch into and go over unopposed. Critchlow once again converted.

Bromsgrove suffered a blow just before the break when Chris Danks had to be carried off following a bang to his head, but they still had time to add to their account.

After an infringement by the Bees about 40 metres out, Critchlow stepped up to earn Bromsgrove a key penalty.

Trailing 17-7 at the break, the hosts started the second half strongly, forcing the Boars back for long periods.

Bromsgrove battled bravely in defence, but they were not helped by back-to-back yellow cards for Phil Horton and Matt Edgar. And Bees’ pressure soon told as another forward drive saw Leach cross for his second, with Harman converting to close the gap to 17-14.

With time up, Bromsgrove then almost paid the price for deliberately passing the ball into touch as from the ensuing penalty Bees set off down the pitch keeping possession well.

After turning down the chance to level the match with a penalty, they managed to get the ball over the line, but Sam Bastock did well to hold the ball up.

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