MATCH REPORT V LONDON SCOTTISH

Bedford Blues were left feeling quite literally sick at full time on Saturday afternoon as they went down 23-26 to London Scottish at Goldington Road.

Illness had swept through the Blues ranks during the week, but the 22 man squad fought valiantly from start to finish, only to be denied a glorious finale for all their hard work.

Trailing by three points with the clock deep in stoppage, the Blues pack strung more than twenty phases together as they inched from the edge of the Scottish 22, up to the try line. A little to the forwards annoyance, the ref stopped the move to award a penalty but the Blues didn’t want a draw so they went for a scrum. Unfortunately, the Exiles countered quickly and when the ball went loose it was booted into touch to secure the win for the visitors.

Speaking at the final whistle, a frustrated Lewis Robling said: “When you come that close to winning the game and then it’s all taken away from you, it’s a tough pill to swallow. We did enough to get back into the game, we battled so well and were resilient, but we fell at the last hurdle.

“We were bold. We wanted to win that game, we didn’t want a draw and I admire that about this team. Unfortunately we lost the ball and it didn’t happen. There’s a lot of positives to take from that game particularly our willingness, the defensive effort and our sheer determination.

“It’s gutting we didn’t win.”

London Scottish came firing out the blocks as they went through numerous phases following a scrum that was awarded when the Blues knocked on. Back and forth went the visitors, but as they looked to spread the ball out to the right wing, Dean Adamson read the pass perfectly then ran try line to try line to open the scoring to the delight of the Eagle Stand.

The visitors discipline left them in the opening exchanges and the Blues pushed the ball to halfway and then drove all the way into the Exiles 22 from the resulting lineout before another penalty went Bedford’s way and Ed Coulson slotted it over the upright to make it 8-0.

Bedford were playing with confidence and conviction as they began throwing the ball around. 17 phases split up with a couple of kicks followed, but then the ball went loose and London Scottish were on it. Some smooth hands allowed Rory Jennings to chip ahead with Rob Stevenson dotting down before Jennings added the extras in the 15th minute. Bedford were forced into a change as Adamson had to be replaced due to feeling unwell with James Lennon coming on.

It was certainly all go with the Blues always looking to run forward through the impressive centre partnership of Lewis Robling and Jamie Elliott while Alex Rae, Sean McCarthy and Alex Penny were always on hand to steam into any ruck resulting from their teammates being stopped.

The Blues continued to push with Oli Curry, Will Carrick-Smith and Jarad Williams all looking to burst over the gain line while Lee Dickson pulled the strings. Charlie Ingall was lucky not to have been carded for a deliberate knock on but it mattered not as Coulson chipped the ball to the corner. A good lineout followed with Josh Buggea claiming the ball and the maul setting before Tadgh McElroy flew off the back like a whippet to score and Coulson converted to make it 15-7.

The Exiles were coming more and more into the game as their confidence grew and the Blues were pinged in the 31st minute for not releasing a tackle which saw Jennings convert the penalty. Three minutes later and Coulson cancelled that out with a penalty of his own to restore the eight point lead.

Scottish continued to push as the half came to an end with Jennings adding another penalty before Mark Bright set up a lively attack as the clock struck 40. A free kick from the scrum saw Bright quickly press forward with support either side. Bedford soaked up the initial attack and then threw in some big hits which resulted in a knock on and the half ended as the ball was punted to touch from the resulting scrum.

The visitors started the second half as they did the first but there was almost a repeat of Bedford breaking well. The Exiles let a loose pass fall to the floor with Elliott punting forward and the Blues streaming into the Scots 22, but they recovered and cleared.

Buggea was causing havoc in the ruck when the Exiles attacked and once again the Blues came away with the ball when a score looked more likely. However, Scottish persistence paid off and they got their reward in 51st minute when Stevenson once again glided through the Blues defence to score and level the game at 18-18.

The Exiles had the bit between their teeth and looked dangerous on every attack. They patiently built once again before a speedy break down the right wing saw Grayson Hart playing in James Tyas for the unconverted try to make it 18-23.

But from the restart, the Blues got back ahead. Rich Lane showed his destructive turn of pace to blaze through the Scottish defence and although he was cut down metres from the line, he popped the ball to Ryan Hutler who dived over the line to bring it back to 23-23.

London Scottish went back on the offensive and if it hadn’t have been for some fine tackling by Robling, Hutler and Buggea, the Exiles would have moved further ahead.

A minute before full time and the Exiles got their chance. Another attack saw them knocking on the door before a loud blast of the whistle signalled a penalty which Jennings dispatched.

Bedford collected the restart superbly to set up one last throw of the dice, but it just wasn’t to be.

Teams. Bedford Blues: Rich Lane, Ryan Hutler, Jamie Elliott, Lewis Robling, Dean Adamson (James Lennon 15), Ed Coulson (Jacob Atkins 52), Lee Dickson; Sean McCarthy (Hayden King 61), Tadgh McElroy (Charlie Clare 52), Alex Penny (Ben Cooper 61), Will Carrick-Smith, Oli Curry (Ed Taylor 58), Alex Rae (Huw Worthington 68), Josh Buggea, Jarad Williams.

Scorers. Tries: Dean Adamson, Tadgh McElroy, Ryan Hutler; Conversions: Ed Coulson; Penalties: Ed Coulson (2)  

London Scottish: Joe Luca Smith, Charlie Ingall, Matt Williams (Jacob Perry 52), Richie Vernon, Rob Stevenson, Rory Jennings, Ed Hoadley (Grayson Hart 52); Jordan Brodley (Tom Smallbone 45, 80), Pete Austin (Billy Harding 41), Richard Palframan (Phil Cringle 55), Byron Hodge, Tjiuee Uanivi, James Tyas, Lewis Wynne, Mark Bright. Not used: Luke Frost, Craig Duncan.

Scorers. Tries: Stevenson (2), Tyas; Conversions: Jennings; Penalties: Jennings (3)

Attendance: 2221

Referee: Christopher Ridley
Assistant referees: Paul Burton & Simon Park.
RFU 4th Official: James Clark
4th Official: Ben Minney

 

Next Home Match

Wednesday 26th December
1st XV
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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