MATCH REPORT V BRISTOL

While there was not a win for the Blues, there was some scintillating attacking rugby on display at Goldington Road on Saturday writes Bedfordshire on Sunday reporter Nick Smith.

Bedford fell to a 38-61 defeat at the hands of promotion favourites Bristol but did themselves no disservice against a side who were just better on the day, inagame which saw 15 tries ran in and 99 points scored.

The visitors got off toaflying start, scoring two tries in the first four minutes, with poor tackling letting the hosts down.

With just over 80 seconds played, Jordan Williams darted through the Blues defence to touch down before number eight Jack Lam added a second, with Ian Madigan converting both.

Bedford hit back soon after, with Elliot Clements-Hill setting up the score with a grubber kick, collecting the ball himself before selflessly playing in Dean Adamson for the try, with Harry Sheppard converting.

The visitors hit back almost immediately, with Jason Harris-Wright going over fromalineout drive, which Madigan was unable to convert. Bedford worked hard in defence and kept Bristol out until almost the 30th minute.

The Blues moved forward with purpose as they looked to reduce the deficit but were stung on the break, with Sam Jeffries touching down on the counter, with Madigan again adding the extras.

Straight from the restart, Bristol added to their lead, with Chris Vui making ground before playing in Dan Thomas for the score, converted by Madigan to stretch their lead to 33-7.

Bedford bounced back with Adamson adding his second of the game with a superb solo effort. The winger kicked the ball over his marker before charging it down, collecting it for the try, with Sheppard adding the extras.

A nasty looking injury to Justin Blanchet halted proceedings while he received treatment for a nasty looking arm injury, which saw plenty of time added on.

The visitors kept threatening and were rewarded in added time, when Jack O’Connell went over from a lineout drive.

With 48 minutes on the clock, the Blues hit back with Ollie Dodge going over and Sheppard converting to make it 21-40 at the interval.

After the restart, the visitors asserted themselves on the game putting them seemingly out of sight with just over 50 minutes played, scoring two converted tries.

First, Harris-Wright added his second with 47 gone with Madigan converting, before Williams added his second as well after being played through by Dan Thomas, adding the extras himself.

Bedford pressed and were rewarded with two tries of their own, with replacement Jordan Burns at the heart of both of them.

Firstly, the scrum half scored one himself after some lovely play from the backline to give Bedford a bonus point.

He then made something out of nothing with 64 gone, sending Clements-Hill clean through to touch down and make it a 31-54 game, with James Wilson unable to convert either effort.

The game settled down after that as Bedford found themselves in Bristol territory, with the hosts seemingly content to protect their lead.

Bedford kept going forwards in the last 10 as they looked to pull off an unlikely comeback, but any small hope of that was wiped out in the 75th minute.

Blues skipper Michael LeBourgeois made some ground before losing his footing, showing great awareness to kick the ball downfield and avoid conceding a penalty.

However, his kick was collected by replacement fullback Mat Protheroe, who ran in untouched for his side’s ninth try of the game, before Burns ran in his second in added time, converted by Clements-Hill.

See more of Nigel Rudgard's pictures at http://frontrow.photium.com/rugby

Next Home Match

Saturday 16th December
1st XV B&I Cup
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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