London Scottish v Bedford Blues
Bedford Blues put in one of their most clinical performances of the season as they ran in seven tries against London Scottish at Richmond Athletic Ground on Saturday afternoon.
A brace each for Dean Adamson and Jordan Burns along with a try each for Pat Tapley, Dan George and Piers O’Conor ensured the Blues left the Capital with a maximum haul.
While the finishing would have pleased the Blues faithful, the coaching team would have been pleased with the manner in which Bedford continually soaked up pressure from the Exiles before punishing them on the break.
A swirling wind did little to help either team, but the hosts started strongly and came close in the fifth minute when Jamie Stevenson took a quick penalty with Jason Harries in support but as he looked to offload the ball was knocked on.
From the resulting scrum, Bedford set about opening the scoring as a barn storming attack saw the ball chipped over the top before Adamson gathered and turned on the gas to score the unconverted try.
Back came the Exiles though with Dave Cherry breaking well before he was forced into conceding a penalty as the strong Bedford defence did its job.
The Exiles continued to knock on the door though with a series of lineouts giving them good territory, but again the Blues held firm before coming away with the ball and then winning an important penalty in the 20th minute.
Bedford secured the ball and spread it out wide where an overlap had been created and Tapley sold the defence superbly to dot down in the corner to make it 0-10.
London Scottish knew they needed a way back into it and they went on the attack looking for an immediate response only to cough up a great chance. A penalty gave them a lineout close to Bedford's line only for crossing to bring the move to an abrupt end. Another attack soon followed with Peter Lydon played in but as he looked for an inside pass, the ball was intercepted and danger averted again.
In the 31st minute, Scottish thought that their pressure had finally paid off when flanker Joe Atkinson went over from the back of a huge drive only for the ref to chalk it off for a double movement.
Bedford, on the other hand, were having no such problems finishing and made it 0-15 with another breakaway try. Some superb work from the forwards saw the ball being turned over close to the Bedford line and a length of the pitch attack followed with Adamson crossing the whitewash again to secure a good half-time lead.
Scottish came firing out of the blocks in the second half, but again they shot themselves in the foot when a try seemed certain. Jason Harries broke well through the defence only to overthrow the pass intended for Matt Williams straight into touch.
The Blues secured the try bonus in the 53rd minute when the ball squirmed out of a ruck with Burns fastest to react. The scrum half scooped in the ball before hurtling over the line to score under the posts giving Myles Dorrian a simple conversion to make it 0-22.
Being four tries down seemed to be the kick up the rear that the Exiles needed as they fired back with two quick tries. Atkinson found himself with space on the wing to power over in the corner before Robbie Fergusson crossed three minutes later to make it 10-22.
But Bedford weren't going to let their hard work be undone and they replied with three tries in seven minutes to put the game to bed. The first came from a driving maul following a lineout and George was on hand to fall over the line for the score with Dorrian converting.
Burns then showed his amazing pace four minutes late as he gathered the ball and showed a clean pair of heels to dot down again before O'Conor benefitted from more solid forward work which created a turnover, and the centre showed excellent footballing skills to score with Jake Sharp adding the extras..
Scottish scored two late tries to secure a try bonus point after Fergusson ran in from 30 metres with Lydon converting before Craig Holland crossed with two minutes left on the clock.
What will disappoint Bedford is the fact they have no game next weekend, but they will be back in action on Saturday 8th April when Yorkshire Carnegie visit Goldington Road for the final home game of the season.
Come on you Blues!!!