Doncaster Knights v Bedford Blues

Saturday, 9 March, 2019 - 14:30
1st XV Championship
Lost 27-20

It was to be a disappointing afternoon in Yorkshire for the Bedford Blues as they went down 27-20 to a stubborn Doncaster Knights.

Two tries from Ed Coulson plus a Jake Sharp conversion and penalty meant it was 17-15 at the break, but an early second half try from prop Joe Sproston along with a conversion and penalty from Dougie Flockhart saw the hosts seal victory despite a late Tadgh McElroy try which secured a losing bonus point for the Blues.

The home side got off to the best possible start as they scored a try within five minutes of the kick-off. Despite some early pressure from the Blues, the home side found territory with a penalty before Tom Hicks was sent clear by Charlie Foley to score with Dougie Flockhart adding the extras.

Bedford took a good hold of the game after that and started to control the pace with Pat Tapley coming very close following some great build up play involving the pack. A penalty soon followed which Jake Sharp slotted to make 7-3 after 14 minutes.

The home side were able to restore their seven point lead a few minutes later when Flockhart slotted his first penalty of the afternoon. Tapley came close to the Blues opening try with a smart grubber but he was outpaced to the ball by Paul Jarvis before Doncaster came away from their 22 with the ball.

Two minutes later though, and the game was tied when Ed Coulson judged a Knights’ pass perfectly to stop it reaching its intended target and galloped clear to score with Sharp converting.

Things got better for the Blues in the 28th minute when they crossed for a second try. The pack were electric as they carried the ball into the Donny 22 with Sean McCarthy, Jacob Fields and Alex Penny all crashing in before the ball was sent out to Coulson for the unconverted try in the corner.

As always with these two teams, the tide soon turned again and Donny had their noses in front thanks to a try from former Blue Tom James who was played in by Mat Clark for the score which Flockhart converted and 17-15 is how it stayed until the break.

Doncaster came firing out the blocks after the interval and were on the scoreboard within two minutes. A lineout was driven forward by the pack with prop Joe Sproston grounding the ball and Flockhart making it 24-15.

The Blues were fortunate not to fall further behind in the 52nd minute when a Donny penalty was fired into touch five metres from the Bedford line. The hosts drove forward but the Blues were defiant and won a penalty which they went quick from with Matt Worley making good ground to relieve the danger.

Doncaster were reluctant to give the Blues much ground in the second half as Lee Dickson tried in vain to orchestrate an attack with Dean Adamson, Rich Lane and Mark Flanagan all trying to find a way through while Will Carrick-Smith, Huw Worthington and Oli Curry were all on hand to crash through in support.

But for all their efforts, the Blues just couldn’t find a way through and when the hosts pinged a penalty into Bedford’s 22, the Knights pack rumbled on before the backs took over to win a penalty and the cool-headed flockhart extended the lead to 27-15.

Bedford didn’t quit though and the pack, revitalised with the introduction of replacements, made huge inroads in the Donny 22 before McElroy went over for an important third try to set up a grandstand finish but the hosts held firm to see out the win.

Doncaster Knights: 15. Paul Jarvis 14. Dougie Flockhart 13. Mat Clark 12. Charlie Foley 11. Curtis Wilson 10. Sam Olver 9. Tom James; 1. Robin Hislop 2. Ben Hunter 3. Joe Sproston 4. Matt Challinor 5. Tom Hicks 6. Willie Ryan 7. Michael Hills 8. Josh Tyrell.

Replacements: 16. Mike Mayhew 17. Charlie Beech 18. Richard List 19. Morgan Eames 20. Sam Jones 21. Dwayne Polataivao 22. Cameron Cowell

Bedford Blues: 15. Rich Lane, 14. Pat Tapley, 13. Matt Worley, 12. Ed Coulson, 11. Dean Adamson, 10. Jake Sharp, 9. Lee Dickson (c); 1. Sean McCarthy, 2. Jacob Fields, 3. Alex Penny, 4. Will Carrick-Smith, 5. Mark Flanagan, 6. Oli Curry, 7. Huw Worthington, 8. Jarad Williams

Replacements: 16. Tadgh McElroy, 17. Toby Trinder, 18. Ben Cooper, 19. Alex Rae, 20. Josh Buggea, 21. James Lennon, 22. Harry Sheppard

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe

Attendance: 1004

Pics courtesy of OMH Rugby Pics


Next Home Match

Saturday 21st September
1st XV Cup
Goldington Road



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