Hartpury v Bedford Blues

Saturday, 15 December, 2018 - 14:00
1st XV Cup
Won 8-17

Bedford Blues rounded off the pool stages of the Championship Cup with a hard fought win over Hartpury on Saturday afternoon.

A brace of tries for Dean Adamson either side of a Jarad Williams score was enough for the Blues to pick up their third win in the competition, but it was a true all round squad performance in challenging conditions that ensured the victory.

The weather may have been miserable but the Blues started brightly as they set up camp in the Hartpury 22 winning a penalty from a scrum. Touch was found, but the Blues couldn't capitalise and the home side rallied well to deny any scoring opportunity.

That seemed to the be story for the opening ten minutes as the Blues just couldn't find a way through the stubborn Hartpury defence who hoofed the ball clear when the opportunity presented itself. Ed Taylor, Will Carrick-Smith and Jarad Williams were all in bullish mood while Sean McCarthy and Ben Cooper tried to crash over the gain line whenever they could.

The home side started to turn defence into attack with Steve Leonard making a good break but the greasey conditions came to the Blues rescue as a dropped ball stopped the attack dead.

Back came the Blues with an attack which was stopped by a high tackle so Will Hooley fired the ball into the corner for an attacking lineout but once again there was no way through the Hartpury defence.

The game stepped up a gear after the 20 minute mark when the Blues coughed up a penalty and the hosts put it into the corner. Hartpury collected the ball, set up the driving maul with the backs lending a hand, but the Blues held the initial attack off well. The ball was quickly recycled though with centre Connor Edwards burrowing his way over the line for the unconverted score to make it 5-0.

Bedford just couldn't get a strangle hold in the game despite their best efforts. Their cause wasn't helped in the 33rd minute when they conceded another penalty which was punted to the corner and a repeat of the opening try seemed to be on the cards. However, the Blues read the play, intercepted and cleared their lines.

The game continued to go one way and then the other, but neither team could make their possession count as the half came to an end with no further scores.

Bedford knew that they needed an immediate response and within five minutes the scores were level. Ryan Hutler made an excellent run down the right wing before the ball came back the other way to Adamson who put a delicate grubber kick beyond the defence, gathered and crossed the line for the score but Hooley's conversion attempt drifted wide of the sticks.

The deteriorating weather wasn't doing anyone any favours with it preventing any chance of free flowing rugby, but Hartpury retook the lead in the 53rd minute when Luke Cozens converted a penalty to make it 8-5.

Bedford continued to push and in the 68th minute they were handed a great attacking platform when they were awarded a scrum in front of the Hartpury uprights. With the scrum not moving, Alex Gliksten started an attack which saw Lewis Robling barge through and then feed Williams who crashed over for the score which Hooley converted to make it 8-12 with ten minutes left on the clock.

Hartpury desperately tried to find a way back into the game, but the Blues soaked up the pressure and then turned the screw with the final play of the game. Some aerial ping pong resulted in Hartpury not dealing with a Blues box kick and Bedford taking over possession. With the defence scrambling, Sean McCarthy channeled his inner Dan Carter and sent a glorious outside of the boot kick towards the left wing for Adamson to chase and he then kicked ahead. Hartpury seemed to have cover, but Ben Foley somehow managed to miss the ball completely allowing Adamson to dot down much to his own surprise.The conversion fell just short of the uprights but the whistle blew to end the game 8-17.

Hartpury: 15. Mike Wilcox, 14. Ben Foley, 13. Steve Leonard, 12. Connor Edwards, 11. Harry Cochrane, 10. Luke Cozens, 9.   Richard Bolt; 1. Des Merrey, 2. Will Tanner, 3. Joe Morris, 4. Joe Quinn, 5. Simon Linsell (c), 6. Akapusi Qera, 7. James Stephenson, 8. Tom Pashley.

Replacements: 16. Luke Stratford, 17. Dan Murphy, 18. Mike Flook, 19. Angus Southon, 20. Mat Gilbert, 21. Stephen Varney, 22. Sam Leeming

Bedford Blues: 15. Ed Coulson, 14. Ryan Hutler, 13. Lewis Robling, 12. Chris Czekaj, 11. Dean Adamson, 10. Will Hooley, 9. James Lennon; 1. Sean McCarthy, 2. Charlie Clare, 3. Ben Cooper, 4. Ed Taylor (c), 5. Will Carrick-Smith, 6. Oli Curry, 7. Josh Buggea, 8. Jarad Williams

Replacements: 16. Jacob Fields, 17. Hayden King, 18. Jack Culverhouse, 19. Mark Flanagan, 20. Justin Blanchet, 21. Alex Gliksten, 22. Joe Green

Attendance: 570

Next Home Match

Saturday 21st September
1st XV Cup
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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