Ealing Trailfinders v Bedford Blues

Saturday, 21 April, 2018 - 15:15
1st XV Cup
Lost 36-16

A seven minute first half blitz from the hosts gave Bedford an uphill challenge that they couldn't quite come back from as they fell 36-16 to Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday afternoon.

Nine points from Will Hooley’s boot along with a converted Michael Le Bourgeois try was the consolation for the Blues but the damage was done by quick Ealing backs who exploited the smallest of spaces.

The Blues have enjoyed a fine season but it just wasn't to be the swan song they wanted in West London despite Vallis Way feeling more like Goldington Road thanks to an army of travelling fans who outnumbered the home contingent.

Despite being under the cost in the opening exchanges, Bedford stood their ground well and managed to turn defence into attack when a penalty set up a lineout in the fourth minute. Will Carrick-Smith got things moving with Mike Le Bourgeois, Sean McCarthy, Huw Worthington and Ben Cooper all carrying well to take play into the Ealing 22. The home side defended well but Lee Dickson used his nous to win a penalty which Will Hooley slotted over the sticks.

The Blues continued to put good phases together but the inability to finish of a move proved costly. Josh Buggea, Tom Lindsay and Alex Rae were all involved in the attack but the ref said Carrick-Smith didn't ground the ball much to the surprise of the Blues players. A scrum attack followed but a knock on saw Ealing set up a blistering attack which resulted in play heading up the other end and Piers O’Conor dotting down with Luke Daniels converting.

Hooley slotted a 15th minute penalty to reduce the deficit but the. Ealing went on a barrage of attacking phases which resulted in three tries in seven minutes which left Blues players wondering what had happened. Alun Walker went over from the back of a driving maul followed by a fine Luke Carter effort, set up by Walker, before Carter played in Harry Casson. Daniels converted two to make it 26-6.

But Bedford regrouped and went on the attack. Rory Hutchinson put in a huge hit which led to a penalty as Ealing failed to release and the ball went to touch. Another penalty followed when the maul was hauled down, but Bedford’s attack was snubbed out when Ealing ripped the ball away. A five metre scrum bore no fruit but when Bedford pressurised the Trailfinders pack, a penalty followed which Hooley chipped over the uprights with the half ending 26-9.

An early Bedford penalty in the second half failed to cross the bar and Ealing responded in positive fashion. A lineout deep in the Blues 22 saw most of the Ealing team bind onto the maul with Mark Bright scoring and Daniels adding the extras.

It was to be a frustrating second period for Bedford with the all important final pass often letting them down and Ealing off the hook. Jordan Onojaife came close to scoring following great work from Jordan Burns, Ben Adams and Packman, but the big lock had a foot in touch as he crossed the whitewash.

Bedford were coughing up too many penalties as they sought a way back into the game and their task became all the harder when Carrick-Smith was red carded for use of his head when a scuffle broke out following. Ealing took the shot at the posts but missed.

With time ticking away, Bedford gave their fans something to cheer about with a well worked consolation try. Rae collected lineout ball before Burns through a delightful pass to Worthington who'd cut a brilliant line. He in turn fed ale Bourgeois for the score which Harry Sheppard converted. Ealing kicked a late penalty and missed another to make the final score 36-16.

Bedford are back in action on Tuesday when they face Nottingham at Lady Bay in the re-arranged Championship encounter.

COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

Next Home Match

Saturday 29th September
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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Photography

See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at

frontrow.photium.com