Bedford Blues v Yorkshire Carnegie
Bedford didn’t go out with the bang that they wanted to at Goldington Road on Saturday afternoon as Yorkshire Carnegie spoiled the party with a 27-43 victory.
The visitors knew that a win would seal second place in the Championship table and they duly secured that, but Bedford more than put on a show as they bid farewell to the 2016/17 season in front of their faithful supporters with Dean Adamson, Pat Tapley, Jacob Fields and Jake Sharp all crossing the whitewash to secure a bonus point.
Speaking after the game, fly half Sharp said: “The crowd was absolutely awesome today and the boys showed good character, but Carnegie showed why they are a top four team. They are a strong unit but we fought until the very end. We wanted to do something for the fans and hopefully that’s what we did today despite the loss.
“We’ve got one game left this season and we want to finish as strongly as possible. Cornish Pirates is always a tough place to go and they got a good win here on the opening day but hopefully the sun will be out down by the coast and we can play our style of rugby.”
A beautifully sunny day at Goldington Road meant only one thing. Running rugby! Bedford were clear in their intent form the off as they looked to offload and carry as much as possible in the opening exchanges, but Carnegie went ahead with a third minute penalty nudged over the posts by Joe Ford.
It didn’t take long for the Blues to reply as Jake Sharp slotted a penalty of his own in the ninth minute following a superb break involving Jordan Burns.
The Blues then opened the try scoring in the tenth minute with a great effort. Elliot Clements-Hill, Ollie Dodge and Michael Le Bourgeois all linked -up well to find a way into Carnegie’s 22 who then coughed up a penalty. The ball went to touch and Dan George found Jordan Onojaife, who popped a pass to Will Carrick-Smith so a maul could commence. Although stopped short, Bedford had men outside and the ball was whizzed to Dean Adamson who dotted down for an unconverted score.
Ford reduced the deficit with a second penalty and then put his team ahead with a third in the 13th and 17th minutes respectively.
But once again it was Bedford who crossed the line with a superb effort which had the 2685 crowd in fine voice. Onojaife got the ball rolling with a stonking run through the middle of the Carnegie defence before he passed the ball to Jordan Burns who linked up with Jake Sharp and Michael Le Bourgeois before the ball came out top Pat Tapley who danced his way over the line before Sharp converted to make it 15-9.
Yorkshire went on to show their top four credentials as they hit straight back with a fine try of their own. Despite a huge effort by Adamson to deny Jonah Holmes breaking along the right wing, a few phases later saw the ball come to skipper Ryan Burrows who swatted away the Blues defenders to score with Ford converting before adding a fourth penalty on the stroke of half-time.
The game took some time to get going after the interval but when it did, it was Carnegie who fired in two quick scores through Burrows and Holmes with Ford converting both to make it 15-33.
Instead of shell-shock, the Blues rallied well and took the game to Carnegie once again as their discipline let them down. A series of penalties resulted in a five metre lineout which was driven towards the try line with Jacob Fields dotting down and Sharp converted superbly.
Once again though, Bedford didn’t shut up shop and Burrows went over for his hat-trick score as he was out on the wing and the ball played along to him to make it 22-38.
Bedford looked to have found a way back in soon after when Sharp put pressure on Carnegie with a superbly placed kick deep into their 22. The ball appeared to be overthrown and Chris Judge pounced over the line only to have his score ruled out as a man had been taken in the air.
There was still time for a final flurry as Bedford looked for a fourth try which they secured in the 80th minute. More penalties gave Bedford possession before Chris Judge, James Hallam and Mike Howard powered towards the line. With the maul falling short, Tom James span the ball to Jake Sharp who twisted his way over the line to score but couldn’t add the extras.
Sadly, the final word went to Carnegie as they headed up the other end with a penalty and then drove over themselves from close range with Mike Mayhew scoring.
The Blues head to Cornwall next Saturday for the final Championship game of the season.
COME ON YOU BLUES!!!
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