Bedford Blues v Hartpury

Friday, 16 November, 2018 - 19:45
1st XV Cup
Won 43-14

Bedford Blues picked up their first win of their Championship Cup campaign with a convincing six try 43-14 rout of Hartpury at Goldington Road on Friday night.

A brace of tries from Alex Penny along with a penalty and one each fro Pat Tapley, Harry Davies and Justin Blanchet secured the bonus point which Lewis Robling converted four and added a penalty for an 11 point haul.

It may have been a drizzly and miserable night, but it didn’t stop 2143 fans from turning up at Goldington Road and they were treated to plenty of action from the off with the Blues scoring four first half tries.

The first came after just seven minutes when a high tackle allowed Robling to find an excellent touch deep in the Hartpury 22. The lineout maul kicked into gear but it was hauled down earning the visitors number 8 a yellow card and the Blues a penalty try.

Bedford looked extremely comfortable, but they were soon reminded not to take their eye off the game as Hartpury replied with a score four minutes later. Luke Cozens picked off Robling’s pass to race towards the line and although Rich Lane managed to haul him down, momentum and a greasy pitch saw Cozens slide over the line and then convert his score to level the game.

The Blues didn’t fret for long and soon had their noses back in front with Tapley scoring in his first competitive start since rejoining the Blues. A high kick was taken well by Davies before he was unceremoniously dumped in the process. As tempers flared, the ball was played out quickly with James Lennon pulling the strings before the pacey Blues line played in Tapley to dart over for the unconverted try.

Bedford were certainly the dominant force with Blanchet, Ed Taylor, Josh Buggea and Jarad Williams all taking the chance to crash through while Toby Trinder, Alex Penny and Jacob Fields were all on hand to follow up.

In the 23rd minute the Blues racked up a third try thanks to some pure forward grunt. Hartpury had the put in at a scrum on their own five metre line, but the Blues pack competed perfectly driving the visitors back with the ball coming loose and Penny pouncing to score and Robling adding the extras.

Hartpury weren’t having much luck in the tough conditions with only a handful of attacks usually ending in a knock on or the Blues defence covering well. Their cause wasn’t helped when hooker Luke Stratford was carded for foul play allowing the Blues to punt to touch in the visitors 22. Once again, the maul did a superb job as it soaked in the initial defensive effort before crabbing its way towards the tryline with Penny going over for the score which Robling converted once more.

There was still time for three more points just before the break as Blanchet pinched the Hartpury lineout and Lennon set up another attack. Williams, Buggea and Mark Flanagan were all involved before the referee blew his whistle for a penalty and Robling slotted the ball over the sticks to make it 29-7 at the break.

There was no let up from the Blues after the interval as they went straight on the attack but Hartpury were proving to be a little harder to break down as their maul defence kicked into action twice to deny the Blues any territory.

It mattered not though as the Blues ran in two quick-fire tries to put the game out of reach. The first came in the 49t minute when a Bedford lineout was collected by Flanagan and Dean Adamson came off his wing to break the gain line. Charlie Clare, Tapley and Rich Lane all carried well before Lennon and Williams combined to play in Davies for the score and Robling struck the sweetest of conversions.

Three minutes later and the Blues were over again. Lane had already made a superb return from the restart to set up camp in Hartpury’s half before a succession of pick and go attacks from Hayden King, Alex Rae and Will Carrick-Smith followed with the impressive Blanchet dotting down for a well deserved try which Robling coolly converted.

With the score at 43-7 and changes being made, the Blues were guilty of taking their foot off the gas a little and a few silly mistakes started to creep in. Fair play to Hartpury, they  continued to have a good crack at the Blues and inched their way forwards only for Flanagan to start stealing lineouts left, right and centre. But the visitors persistence paid off and they got their reward in the 74th minute when Mat Gilbert was driven over the line and Cozens converted.

Hartpury had their tails up and pushed for another quick try, but Flanagan was again at his best to deny lineout ball after the Blues discipline failed them. A final attack saw Lane carded for a deliberate knock on, but Bedford shut the door and picked up the five points.

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Next Home Match

Friday 23rd August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road



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