Bedford Blues v Ealing Trailfinders

Saturday, 12 January, 2019 - 15:00
1st XV Championship
Won 23-18

Bedford Blues picked up a huge victory on Saturday afternoon as they overcame Ealing Trailfinders 23-18 at Goldington Road.

Tries from Chris Czekaj and Dean Adamson along with 13 points from the boot of Will Hooley did the damage, but the Blues overall game management and impressive defensive display ensured that they closed the gap on their opposition in the league table.

“It’s a massive result,’ said Blues prop Alex Penny at full time. “We had a good Christmas break, we were five from five in the Championship before that and now we are six from six. It was a huge squad effort and we’ll enjoy that win.

“We’d focused on our defence over the week and our key objective was to tackle their big boys, get in their faces and disrupt their play. It paid off today. We now head over to Jersey for another big game against a team who are in form. Nothing changes for us though, we’ll have a massive week in preparation and we’ll go out there and keep on going.”

It was fourth versus second at the start of the game, and both sides looked to make an early impact form the off. Bedford were up quick and picked up an early penalty as Ealing were pinged at the ruck and Will Hooley slotted it to give the Blues an early advantage.

Things got better for the home side four minutes later when they went over for a stunning opening try. A Blues scrum was solid and the backs built off the platform with Lee Dickson directing traffic. Jarad Williams, Josh Buggea and Oli Curry all carried into contact before Ryan Hutler and Hooley exchanged passes before Chris Czekaj was played in for the score which Hooley converted superbly from the right wing.

Ealing’s response was immediate as David Johnston collected a clearance kick and was given too much room as he jostled his way into the Blue 22 before offloading to Jordan Burns who scuttled over for score with Craig Willis adding the extras.

The visitors were certainly buoyed by the score and they went on the offensive with Bedford’s defence being given a stern test. Curry had to leave the field due to a knock with Justin Blanchet replacing him, and he got stuck straight in on the action repelling the Trailfinders attack.

Ealing continued to press and after failing close to the line on a couple of occasions, Willis sent a penalty through the uprights to level the score in the 30th minute.

It was soon Bedford’s turn to attack with Lewis Robling and Dean Adamson making good yards while Buggea and Czekaj crashed over the gain line. Ealing failed to release a tackle and Hooley slotted the penalty to make it 13-10 before repeating the feat four minutes later to give the Blues a 16-10 halftime lead.

Bedford’s defence was put under the microscope from the start of the second half as the visitors quickly regathered possession and went on the attack. The Blues coughed up too many penalties in a short space of time with Willis finally deciding to convert one in the 48th minute.

Adamson made a superb collection as the game restarted and the Blues put some impressive phases together with Blanchet and Buggea at the helm, but a forward pass brought the attack to a halt with space opening up.

Ealing turned things around and were on the attack once again but the Blues defence was sublime. Tackle after tackle went in with Jacob Fields, Ed Taylor, Penny and Sean McCarthy chopping down anything that came at them.

Bedford made use of their bench with Tadgh McElroy, Ben Cooper and Will Carrick-Smith all coming on and having huge impacts on the game with their sheer heart and desire.

But Ealing found a way back into the game in the 66th minute with their second try of the afternoon. A penalty was fired to touch deep in the Blues 22 with Ealing securing the lineout and setting up the maul which was assisted by a handful of backs to allow replacement hooker Matt Cornish to score but Willis’s kick went wide.

Now trailing 16-18, Bedford looked for a quick response and boy did they get it! Hayden King and James Lennon were both on the pitch and soon afterwards Carrick-Smith secured a lineout with Williams making ground. The ball came out to Hutler who brushed aside tackles, drew in the last man and offloaded to Dean Adamson who scored under the sticks with Hooley adding the extras.

A knock to Hooley meant that Jake Sharp came on to see out the game, but the Blues management of the final six minutes was brilliant. The forwards kept the ball close and won a penalty just inside the Ealing half. Bedford called for the tee, and although Robling’s effort drifted wide of the posts, it ate up plenty of time. The Blues gathered the restart, went through a couple of phases and then Lennon punted the ball to touch to seal a huge win.

COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

Bedford Blues: 15. Rich Lane 14. Ryan Hutler 13. Lewis Robling 12. Chris Czekaj 11. Dean Adamson 10. Will Hooley 9. Lee Dickson ©; 1. Sean McCarthy 2. Jacob Fields 3. Alex Penny 4. Ed Taylor 5. Mark Flanagan 6. Oli Curry 7. Josh Buggea 8. Jarad Williams

Replacements: 16. Tadgh McElroy 17. Hayden King 18. Ben Cooper 19. Will Carrick-Smith 20. Justin Blanchet 21. James Lennon 22. Jake Sharp

Ealing Trailfinders: 15. David Johnston 14. Seb Stegmann 13. Pat Howard 12. Harry Sloan 11. James Cordy-Redden 10. Craig Willis 9. Jordan Burns; 1. Jordan Els 2. Alun Walker 3. Mark Tampin 4. Jordan Onojaife 5. Harry Casson 6. Rohan O’Regan 7. Jordy Reid 8. Rayn Smid (c)

Replacements: 16. Matt Cornish 17. Alex Lundberg 18. Elliot Millar Mills 19. Ben Landry 20. Max Davies 21. Ryan Foley 22. Laurence May

Referee: Michael Hudson

Assist Referees: Shane Lewis & Ian Bibey

Attendance: 2392

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Photography

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