Bedford Blues v Jersey Reds

Saturday, 8 September, 2018 - 15:00
1st XV Championship
Won 26-22

Bedford Blues 26 Jersey Reds 22

Bedford Blues opened their home account of the 2018/19 Championship season with a bonus point win over Jersey Reds, but they were made to work for it.

Bedford versus Jersey is always a close and well-fought competition and Saturday was no exception with the lead switching back and forth before a late penalty try secured the win for the Blues.

Heading down the slope, the Blues got things underway and set up camp in the Jersey half. Mark Flanagan was a monster in the lineout and his take set up a series of attacks but the visitors defended well and earned a penalty to clear their lines.

The Blues had the first opportunity to put points on the board in the ninth minute as the Blues scrum picked up a penalty at the scrum but Ed Coulson’s effort pulled just left of the uprights.

Five minutes later though, the Blues fans were celebrating when a superb Rich Lane penalty set up a lineout five metres from the try line. Jersey illegally stopped the first attack so it was same again as the ball went to touch. Oli Curry took the short lineout, a maul was established and the forwards drove over with Charlie Clare dotting down for the unconverted score.

Jersey were left fuming in the 22nd minute when their skipper Roy Godfrey appeared to dot down a try but the ref instead said he was held up and their mood got no better when the Blues pack shoved them off the ball to win the penalty much to forwards coach Alex Rae’s delight!

The Reds didn’t let their heads drop though and they got the scoreboard turning when impressive fly half Brett Herron slotted a penalty to make it 5-3.

Bedford went on the attack and once again headed deep into Jersey territory with Sean McCarthy, Alex Penny and Will Carrick-Smith were all involved in carrying the ball with Lee Dickson directing traffic, but the Blues got a little excited near the line and conceded the penalty. The move also saw the end of Flanagan’s game as he limped off and was replaced by Ed Taylor.

Jersey took full advantage of the free territory and it wasn’t long before they crossed the whitewash. Despite calls for a knock on in the build-up, the Reds played to the whistle as they should with Herron sending a huge pass out to fullback Auguy Slowik who sliced through to score the try but no extras followed.

Then Jersey went and shot themselves in the foot. The restart was knocked on and the impressive Blues scrum retained the ball allowing Dickson and Ryan Hutler to work some room before the ruck formed. Dickson spotted men out wide and sent a looping pass over to Dean Adamson who raced over to score with Coulson converting superbly from the left wing.

There was still time for another Blues attack as the scrum did it’s job once again. Jamie Elliott and Fraser Strachan were punching through the defence before Adamson chipped ahead only for Will Homer to race back and mark.

The visitors had the final flurry to the half though when a penalty saw Herron punt into Bedford’s 22. A succession of drives and rucks followed before Huw Worthington and Josh Buggea caused havoc and the ball was turned over. Bedford looked to break but a Jersey hand knocked on and the half came to an end 12-8.

The Blues made an early second half with Jarad Williams replacing Josh Buggea and the big backrower was straight in the thick of the action with some huge hits which led to the Blues winning a penalty after Elliott, Coulson and Lane combined. The ball flew to touch with Clare serving Curry before positioning himself at the back of the driving maul to score and Coulson slotted a fine conversion to make it 19-8.

Both teams were mixing defence with attack superbly and Jersey made full use of their bench as they made their way back into the game and it was a piece of magic from Herron which narrowed the score. Following some great scramble defence, Lane put his foot through the ball but Herron collected and sidestepped past two diving Blues defenders before having a clear run to the line. The fly half then converted and it was game on with 20 minutes remaining at 19-15.

Jersey continued to press and got their reward in the 67th minute with their third try of the afternoon. A lineout was fumbled, but Godfrey reacted quickest to scoop in the ball and then release Conor Joyce before the Blues defence had time to realise what had happened. He dotted down, Herron converted and Bedford trailed by three with 15 minutes left to play.

It was Bedford’s turn to chase the game now and they reverted back to the tried and tested keep hold of the ball and smash anyone in front of you and it soon paid dividends with the Blues inching forward. Penalties followed, as did a yellow card for Jersey’s Sam Rodman, and the Blues were metres out with a lineout two minutes into stoppage time. Jacob Fields found Curry and the Blues pack swarmed, so much so that Jersey had no option but to bring it down and the ref ran under the posts before carding Graham Geldenhuys.

Jersey looked to mount one final attack but Herron’s kick was overbaked and the Blues saw the final few phases out before Dickson punted to touch (and was almost put into touch himself) to secure victory.


Bedford Blues: Rich Lane, Ryan Hutler, Jamie Elliott, Fraser Strachan, Dean Adamson, Ed Coulson, Lee Dickson; Sean McCarthy (Camilo Parilli-Ocampo 67), Charlie Clare (Jacob Fields 69), Alex Penny (Ben Cooper 61), Will Carrick-Smith, Mark Flanagan (Ed Taylor 32), Oli Curry, Josh Buggea (Jarad Williams 44), Huw Worthington.

Not Used: James Lennon & Joe Green.

Scorers: T. Charlie Clare (14 & 47), Dean Adamson (37), Penalty Try; C. Ed Coulson (38 & 48).

Jersey Reds: Auguy Slowik, Koch Marx, Apakuki Ma'afu, Mark Best (James Newey 50), Leeroy Van Dam, Brett Herron, Will Homer (Calum Waters 65); Roy Godfrey, Nick Selway (Charlie Maddison 58), Leeroy Atalifo (Sam Rodman 48), Jerry Sexton, Dave McKern (Charlie Beckett 54), Janco Venter (Leeroy Atalifo 79), Conor Joyce, Max Argyle (Graham Geldenhuys 58)

Not Used: Harry Morley

Scorers: T. Auguy Slowik (35), Brett Herron (60), Conor Joyce (67); C. Brett Herron (61 & 68); P. Brett Herron (28)

Yellow Cards: Sam Rodman (76) & Graham Geldenhuys (80+2)

Ref: Dean Richards

Attendance: 2364

Next Home Match

Saturday 21st September
1st XV Cup
Goldington Road



See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at