Bedford Blues v Hartpury

Friday, 24 November, 2017 - 19:45
1st XV Championship
Won 33-7

Bedford Blues put in a solid performance under the Friday Night Lights to pick up a bonus point 33-7 win over Hartpury College.

Tries from Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, Jarad Williams, Ed Taylor, Rich Lane and Michael Le Bourgeois ensured that the Blues took the maximum points on offer on a particularly chilly encounter.

Hartpury startled the game in rampant fashion with a fine array of passes and attacking play, but they just couldn’t find a way through the Blues defence which remained solid and soaked up plenty of pressure with Ben Adams making a superb tackle to stop any advancement. 

The visitors were forced into an early change as flanker Rob Langley took a nasty knock and had to be replaced in the third minute.

Bedford soon found their feed and started to take control of game with some good flowing rugby only for a knock on to bring their attack to an end. But Hartpury started coughing up penalties and Will Hooley’s boot sent the ball deep into Pury’s 22. 

The visitors showed great resolve in repelling the first Blues lineout drive but when another penalty followed, Bedford turned the screw. The maul dug in and went towards the line with Lee Dickson trying to snipe over from close range. His attempt fell inches short, but Parilli-Ocampo was on hand to bulldoze his way over and Hooley slotted the extras.

Hartpury responded well from the set back and a driving maul of their own followed by a good chip over the top, pinned the Blues back in their own 22, but Dickson put good distance on a box kick to send the visitors in retreat.

Back came Hartpury, but Tom Lindsay and Adams were on hand to hit hard tackles and regather the ball only for it to be knocked on. The scrum followed and, much like last week, Dickson was causing all sorts of havoc for the opposition Number Eight with the Blues scrum half dumping Iain Grieve on the floor w to secure a turnover.

Bedford continued to be frustrated by an impressive Hartpury defence, but in the 29th minute they found the breakthrough. The visitors were reduced to 14 when Joe Quinn was carded after his team racked up one too many penalties and the ball was sent to touch. The lineout maul was on with the Blues surging forward and Williams was driven over the line thanks to a little help from Will Carrick-Smith, Alex Rae, Tom Lindsay, Parilli-Ocampo and Alex Penny. Hooley’s conversion went just wide of the posts.

The Blues kept hold of the ball with the man advantage and were soon attacking again but once more, Hartpury’s defence was disruptive and effective.

That was until the stroke of half time when a Blues scrum deep in the visitors 22 set up an attacking platform. Although Bedford couldn’t get a shove on, the ball came to Ollie Dodge who crashed through before the forwards regathered to inch forward before Ed Taylor was on hand – with Carrick-Smith in support – to cross the whitewash with Hooley converting as the whistle went.

The second half started in quiet fashion with neither side grabbing the bull by the horns. Hartpury enjoyed a good period of possession but couldn’t find a way through the Blues defensive line. It was Bedford who strung a great attack together in the 47th minute with a great break through the middle of the field, but the final pass went begging.

Hartpury built in confidence as the half wore on and in the 57th minute they got their reward. A penalty was struck to touch before the Hartpury pack collected the lineout and drove forward. With the maul starting to turn, replacement hooker Will Tanner broke away and galloped over the line with James Williams adding the extras.

But Bedford hit back immediately with a well worked try which included some fancy footwork from Alex Rae. A rampaging attack saw Dickson fire the ball to Hooley from the bottom of a ruck but as the looked to offload, the ball went to ground only for Rae to cheekily flick it upwards with his foot into the hands of the on-rushing Lane to glide over the try line. Hooley once again converted to make it 26-7.

The Blues continued to dominate and should have gone further ahead when a series of great passes saw Josh Buggea hurtling towards the final defender. He popped the ball to the supporting George Edgson, but it slipped from his grasp and Hartpury were off the hook.

There was, however, time for one more try and it came straight from the training pitch. Taylor collected lineout ball and dropped it straight into the hands of Jordan Burns who had Le Bourgeois in his sights with the Blues captain side-stepping his way over the line for the score which Hooley again converted.

Hartpury continued to battle to the very end with an attack coming from a scrum in their own 22, but as they looked for space, Adams was on hand to make the all-important tackle which resulted in a knock on and the game coming to an end.

Bedford make the long trip to Penzance next weekend to face the Cornish Pirates on Sunday afternoon. 


Next Home Match

Saturday 13th April
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road



See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at