Cardiff won their last warm up game before the start of the regular season next week, against a strong Birmingham and Solihull in a game that saved the drama until the last seconds.
The visitors have been bolstered this season with an alliance between themselves and Northampton and their squad showed several Saints amongst it. It was however the Blue & Blacks who scored first.
Shunning several kickable penalties to work on line-out moves the pack secured plenty of ball for the backs to utilise. Darren Ryan was punching holes in the defence and from one attack enough space was created fro James Lewis to glide through and score on his debut.
A few minutes later and the lead was doubled. Birmingham and Solihull were attacking into the home twenty two and seemed to have created an overlap only for the ball to land in Ryan’s hands. He galloped under the posts from 70 metres, Joe Griffin converting.
The visitors struck back soon after when Ollie Grove was put clear from turnover ball. Griffin and Simon Hunt exchanged penalties before a spout of handbags saw a yellow card for each side.
Cardiff then took control. The visitors were now making lots of mistakes, and turnover ball is one of the best forms of attack. From one such event Steve Taylor was set clear only to be stopped short of the line, but as a good flanker should be Jamie Ringer was on had to receive the scoring pass.
More turnover ball and this time provider turned scorer. Matthew John outstripping the defence to draw the fullback. Taylor there to finish off the move, Griffin adding what turned out to be the valuable extras.
29 - 8 at half time seemed a comfortable lead, and with both sides making changes it was Birmingham and Solihull who took control of the second half.
Tries from Adam Clayton, Chris Pidgers and Ed Bingham and two conversions from Sam Robinson narrowed the gap to two points. Both sides now wanted to secure the victory and with time running out the next score would do it.
Into the last four minutes and Birmingham and Solihull were pushing for that score. The ball though was lost and at the resulting scrum the home side were awarded a free kick. The Blue & Blacks ran the ball in an effort to run out the clock. They were nearly there when the penalty everyone feared was awarded just outside the twenty-two. Robinson stepped up for what seemed to be the winning kick only for it to drift wide. Referee David Jones blew for no-side and the Blue & Blacks had held on … just.