Bedford Blues v London Scottish
There was very little that could be offered in way of explanation as Bedford Blues slumped to a 10-13 home defeat to London Scottish who, in all honesty, didn’t look like they were going to offer too many problems based on the first 70 minutes.
Credit to the visitors though, they did what they had to do to win the game as David Cherry scored from the back of a drive over try with Peter Lydon converting and adding two penalties to seal victory.
Bedford, in contrast, started brightly, took control early on and led 10-0 at the break thanks to a Myles Dorrian penalty and a converted Tom Griffiths try.
What followed though was almost an implosion as the Blues got the basic wrong and handed the Exiles a way back into the game which they duly took.
Speaking after the final whistle, a clearly disappointed Christian Judge said: “It was very disappointing. I thought we had a positive first half and looked in a strong position but in the second we made some errors, lacked discipline and it cost us in the end.
“We knew Scottish were coming here off the back of a couple of disappointing results and would be looking to really play some rugby but it was out negatives that helped them out. It’s really hard to say did they win it or did we lose it? We made mistakes and we’ve got to work hard to rectify these.”
To say that the first half was a slow burner would probably be the understatement of 2016. Both teams were cancelling one another out at every opportunity and neither was really able to go through more than a handful of phases.
Heading up the slope, Bedford certainly enjoyed more of the ball but they couldn’t find a way through the stubborn London Scottish defence who spoilt numerous attacks.
Scrums and lineouts were certainly a feature in the opening 40 with both teams looking strong when putting the ball in but again, neither could really show any real dominance with the exception of one Exiles push which brought about a penalty which led to a lineout but the move was snubbed out.
Scottish had one really good attacking chance midway in the half as their pack went through several pick-and-go phases before knocking on.
The visitors conceded a 24th minute penalty which was more than kickable and Myles Dorrian duly slotted it between the uprights to get the score board rolling.
Bedford then took more of a hold on the game with the Dean Adamson warming up the crowd following quick hands from Tom Whiteley and Dorrian. The winger chipped over and left the covering Exile with no option but to dot down.
The resulting scrum lead to the opening try. While the Blues couldn’t get a strong push on from the scrum, they quickly went on the attack edging closer and closer to the line until Griffiths was fed by Whitely and he managed to twist and turn his body over the line before Dorrian struck the conversion and the half-time whistle blew.
The 2339 fans in Goldington Road – who were predominantly Blues supporters – may have expected their team to express themselves further after the break but once again the Exile managed to narrow the pitch and reduce the home side to few chances while never really making inroads themselves.
Dorrian was given the opportunity to extend the lead in the 47th minute with a penalty but his effort fell just short and a little wide of the sticks and Scottish took the 22 metre drop out.
Unfortunately, the Blues began to make errors with the ball on occasions seeming to be uncatchable. Scottish came back into the game and started to build in confidence as some big hits began being made. After forcing their way up the field, full back Lydon converted a 61st minute penalty to get the comeback underway.
Bedford still looked dangerous when they had ball in hand. Adamson and Pat Tapley looked lively as did Piers O’Conor but the back three just couldn’t find the space to break and were often forced backwards by the advancing Exiles defence.
The Blues were ultimately punished in the 68th minute when a rampaging London Scottish driving maul was illegally disrupted by replacement Jason Hill who was carded for his efforts. The Exiles opted to go to the corner and their driving maul kicked into gear with hooker Cherry being the man to ground the ball before Lydon struck a superb conversion from the touch line to level the scores.
Bedford had been shaken and again they shot themselves in the foot as they knocked on from a kick down field and then coughed up a silly penalty in the 79th minute for being offside at the ruck and Lydon made no mistake as he put his team ahead.
Bedford managed to work their way into the Exiles half and in the third minute of stoppage time they had the opportunity to level things as London Scottish infringed at the ruck, but Jake Sharp’s effort drifted wide much to the disappointment of the crowd.
The Blues were running out of time and London Scottish went very long with the restart before pinning the home side back. Bedford tried to run the ball, but the Exiles held firm and forced the mistake to bring the game to an end.
Bedford have a week to brush themselves down after this defeat and prepare for a challenging journey to Headingley to take on Yorkshire Carnegie next Friday.
COME ON YOU BLUES!!!