Cornish Pirates v Bedford Blues

Sunday, 21 October, 2018 - 14:30
1st XV Championship
Won 29-30

Bedford Blues put in an extraordinary display at the Mennaye Field on Sunday afternoon to pick up a hugely important 29-30 win over the Cornish Pirates in the Green King IPA Championship.

Tries from Rich Lane, Ryan Hutler and Dean Adamson along with 12 points from the boot of Will Hooley and a thunder-like penalty from Lewis Robling sealed the win, but the Blues defence was tested until the very final second of the game.

Bedford got an early opportunity when Will Hooley’s kick-off was knocked on, but the Pirates defended with plenty of grit following the scrum and the Blues just weren’t able to make the most of the early possession.

A kick out on the full gave the Blues a lineout and James Lennon made a great break and carried up to the Pirates 22. The ref awarded a penalty as the Pirates went off their feet and Hooley slotted the ball through the posts to make it 0-3.

The Pirates response was immediate as a lineout was taken at a rapid pace and the Pirates made a superb break through the middle of the pitch with Will Cargill, Dan Koster and Alex Day combining to allow hooker Sam Matavesi to slide in under the posts with Cargill adding the extras.

Another attacking scrum saw a free kick follow and the Blues ran the ball. Phases followed before Lennon seemed to be over the line and down, but the ref said he was held up. The resulting scrum saw the ball fly low to Lewis Robling but he couldn’t hold on and the Pirates were off the hook.

Bedford maintained the pressure with Hooley nudging the ball to the corner and an attempted break down the right saw the Pirates knock on and the Blues pick up a scrum in the hosts half. Bedford looked to break but the pass was fluffed but the Pirates sliced the ball out on the full and the Blues were on the attack again with a lineout.

Bedford continued to press but the Pirates defence was solid. A break from Lennon took the ball up to the hosts 22 before a Hooley drop kick attempt was charged down. Bedford regathered the ball then were awarded a penalty which Hooley converted to make it 7-6.

Once again, the Cornishmen looked for an immediate response as Jack Andrew made a good break with plenty of support. The ball was worked out to the backs with Kyle Moyle coming into the line, but his attempted offload went astray and the scrum went Bedford’s way before a free kick followed and Rich Lane cleared to touch.

Bedford then scored their opening try as the Pirates looked t attack. The lineout was safe and spread to the right wing, but the Blues turned it over with Rich Lane punting ahead and then outpacing the Pirates defence to score a wonderful try which Will Hooley converted superbly from the left touchline.

The Pirates looked to get back into things, but a dodgy lineout throw then some poor decision making, plus some superb defence, didn’t allow the hosts to make much of their possession. An offside saw the Blues win a penalty and Lewis Robling thumped it over from long-range to make it 7-16.

Bedford shot themselves in the foot as the half came to an end despite having a lineout in the Pirates 22. An overthrow saw the hosts break before a fine kick into the Blues 22 saw plenty of pressure being applied. An attempted clearance didn’t find touch and then a penalty followed as the Pirates attacked so Cargill slotted the points to make it 10-16 at the interval.

The hosts started the second half brightly and went through some good phases before a high tackle from Oli Curry handed the Pirates a penalty which Cargill shanked wide of the posts.

But it didn’t take long for the Pirates to get back into the game when a Blues clearance kick failed to find touch and the hosts made good ground into the Blues 22 before it was recycled to Moyle who cut through the defence to score an unconverted try.

Bedford then got the opportunity to extend their lead when some great work by Sean McCarthy earned a penalty but the Blues opted to go for the corner with a great Hooley nudge. Fields found Curry and the maul was on but the Pirates got underneath and held the ball up giving the Blues a five metre scrum. A training ground move didn’t come off for the Blues and they were repelled 15 metres before the ball was turned over and cleared.

Neither team would have been too happy with the amount of unforced errors coughed up during the afternoon, but Bedford were handed another attacking chance when a penalty went their way with Hooley finding touch. A good break made yards but then the Blues held on to the ball in the Pirates 22 and the ref awarded a penalty to the hosts who cleared their lines.

It was Bedford who scored next through a wonderfully worked try in the 58th minute. A fine lineout saw Lane burst through the Pirates defence with Ryan Hutler in support and the youngster glided over the line for his sixth try of the season which Hooley converted to make 15-23.

There was almost another try as Alex Gliksten went on a snipe and offloaded to Hutler who sped down the line before grubbing on, but the Pirates got back and got away with it as they seemed to carry the ball over the line but got a 22 dropout.

Bedford stole a 63rd minute lineout, but then replacement winger Javier Rojas Alvarez intercepted and ran with Koster in support, but the Blues covered and reverted the danger. However, some pointless kicking resulted in Moyle seeing a gap and darting through. Although Robling managed to get a tackle in, Moyle got back on his feet to dive over and then Cargill made it a one point game with the conversion.

Bedford were almost seething when a blatant forward pass went unnoticed, but it mattered not as moments later, Dean Adamson intercepted an offload to sprint under the posts with Hooley making it 22-30.

Again, the Pirates came back and thanks somewhat to another questionable pass. The ball was spread quickly to Koster who fended off the tackle before the ball came inside to replacement scrum half Alex Schwartz who scored with Harvey Skinner converting to make it 29-30.

A penalty gave Bedford a good attacking platform with five minutes left on the clock, but again the Pirates defence was solid and following a series of pick-and-go rucks, the hosts turned the ball over and then won a penalty following a high tackle.

The penalty was fired to touch ten metres inside the Pirates half and another attack followed with a series of fearsome attacks form the hosts who fired into every carry. Bedford soaked up the pressure as the Pirates made territory before the ball was ripped at the ruck and a scrum went Bedford’s way as the clock struck 80. The scrum was won, Jarad Williams carried forward then Gliksten fired the ball to touch to seal the win.

Cornish Pirates: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Dan Koster, 12 Harry Strong, 11 Matt Evans, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day; 1 Jack Andrew, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Jack Owlett, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Brett Beukeboom (captain), 6 James McRae, 7 Matt Bolwell, 8 Tom Duncan.

Replacements: 16 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 17 Tyler Gendall, 18 Billy Keast, 19 Danny Cutmore, 20 Alex Schwarz, 21 Harvey Skinner, 22 Javier Rojas Alvarez.

Bedford Blues: 15. Rich Lane, 14. Ryan Hutler, 13. Jamie Elliott, 12. Lewis Robling, 11. Dean Adamson, 10. Will Hooley, 9. James Lennon (Alex Gliksten 55); 1. Sean McCarthy, 2. Jacob Fields, 3. Alex Penny, 4. Will Carrick-Smith, 5. Mark Flanagan (c), 6. Oli Curry, 7. Josh Buggea, 8. Huw Worthington.

16. Gerard Ellis, 17. Hayden King, 18. Ben Cooper, 19. Jarad Williams, 20. Jack Nay, 21. Alex Gliksten, 22. Fraser Strachan


Next Home Match

Saturday 21st September
1st XV Cup
Goldington Road



See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at