Bedford Blues rounded off their pre-season campaign with a convincing 52-12 victory over Pontypridd at Goldington Road on Saturday afternoon.

Bedford ran in eight tries during the afternoon with Dean Adamson, Tom Farrell (2), George Edgson, Tom James, Ben Adams, Tom Whiteley and Tom Griffiths all crossing the wash while Myles Dorrian converted once and Jake Sharp chipped over five more.

Speaking after the final whistle, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "We've had two really good hit outs against Pontypridd, they were a lot stronger this time around and we really had to work hard for our points. It was just the sort of game we wanted going into the first Championship fixture against Cornish Pirates next weekend. 

"We're in a tough league and we know that there are a lot of strong and physical packs out there. Our ball presentation wasn't great and it is something that we need to work on, but there were some real positives from the game including our defence. We didn't concede any second half points so that was a big positive going forwards.

"We were able to include some of the Saracens lads this afternoon which was great and it gave them the opportunity to bed in. It was also really good to see the back three getting their hands on the ball and showing what they are capable. The pack were also given a solid workout and were given plenty to contend with.

"We got all 15 involved today which has always been our philosophy, and overall it's been a pleasing afternoon."

It was Ponty who started brightly in front of the 1144 fans who made their way to Goldington Road with Hemi Barnes crossing the line in the fourth minute following some tidy play along the left wing. 

The early setback worked as a wakeup call for the Blues who fired back with two quick tries from Adamson following a good driving maul, and then Farrell who was played in by Jordan Burns. Myles Dorrian converted Adamson's effort.

Bedford stretched 17-5 ahead in the 23rd minute when poor discipline from the visitors allowed the Blues to kick to the corner and then the driving maul did its job with Edgson peeling away to score.

But Ponty weren't out of it and they fired back in fashion as a driving maul of their own saw Liam Belcher going over and Ceri Sweeney added the extras to make it 17-12 which is how it remained until the interval.

The second half belonged to Bedford and Farrell doubled his tally for the afternoon after Sharp sent a delightful chip over the top for the Irishman to gather and run under the posts. Sharp duly slotted the extras to make it 24-12.

Bedford's backs then started to enjoy themselves as replacement Tom James was on the end of some intricate passing to get his name on the score sheet with Sharp converting.

The Blues forwards then got in on the action with Adams scoring, but it was replacement scrum half Whiteley who got the move going after gathering in a Pontypridd clearance kick. The Saracens youngster darted through the visitors’ defence before popping the ball to the supporting Adams with Sharp's conversion making it 38-12.

The Blues had certainly found their rhythm and the next try came as a result of pure speed as Elliot Clements-Hill ran a beautiful outside arc before hitting Whitely at pace allowing the scrum half to score under the posts giving Sharp a simple conversion in the 71st minute.

It was left to Griffiths to score the final try of the afternoon as he broke through the middle of the pitch and Sharp converted for a fifth and final time.

Saturday 3rd September sees the start of the Greene King IPA Championship season with Bedford Blues welcoming Cornish Pirates to Goldington Road. But your discounted tickets online NOW.


See more of Nigel Rudgard's pictures HERE

Next Home Match

Friday 23rd August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road