Plymouth Albion v Bedford Blues

Friday, 10 August, 2018 - 19:45
1st XV Pre Season
Lost 21-19

Bedford Blues kicked off their pre-season with a full bloodied encounter against old foes Plymouth Albion which saw the Devon club come out 21-19 winners in a feisty affair at Brickfields on Friday night.

While any loss is disappointing, there were lots of positives for Mike Rayer's men to take from the encounter along with plenty to work on as the Blues prepare to face Saracens at Goldington Road next Saturday.

The hosts started the game in fine fashion as they pummelled the Blues from the off with Will Hooley saving a sure try as Albion intercepted and went for the line. Soon after, the ball was sent to the corner from a penalty and a well-worked driving maul set the platform for Jordan Gott to score and Matt Shepherd converted well from out wide to make it 7-0.

Bedford slowly started to establish themselves into the game and debutant Joe Green pulled the Blues back into the game as some slick handling saw the winger over for an unconverted try.

There was certainly nothing 'friendly' about this pre-season encounter as big hits went in left, right and centre with handbags being swung now and again, but the Blues kept their cool and stretched their lead when a great attack form a lineout saw Josh Buggea cross the whitewash and Hooley slotted the extras to make it 7-12.

Plymouth continued to push the Blues and were unfortunate not to come away with anything following sustained pressure in the Bedford 22 which saw a series of penalties sent to touch before a lineout fluff-up let Bedford off the hook.

Just before the interval, Bedford extended their lead to 7-19 with a length of the pitch score as Dean Adamson made a fine break and Jamie Elliott was on hand to take over and finish off the move with the ball sailing over the uprights as the half came to an end.

The Blues made changes at the break and looked assured as the second half got underway with more good attacking play but no way could be found through the tough Albion defence.

Instead, Albion came more and more into the game with Kieran Hallett's men displaying impressive defence and strong attacks which saw them edge up the field and score once again through Sam Daly with Fraser Honey adding the extras to make it 14-19.

Bedford were on the back foot and the cause wasn't helped when frustration boiled over as Albion turned the ball over at the ruck and a yellow card was branded.

Albion took full advantage of the extra man as they worked their way forward with James Tait going over the line to level the scores before Honey added the extars to give Albion a two point lead as the clock ticked down.

There was a chance for the Blues to win the match as the ref awarded a penalty in the final seconds but the ball drifted wide of the uprights giving the hosts the victory on the night.

Plenty for the Blues to do ahead of next weekend's clash with the Premiership champions, but Goldington Road will be the place to be at 3pm on Saturday 18th August. Make sure you buy your discounted tickets online ahead of the big game.


Next Home Match

Saturday 21st September
1st XV Cup
Goldington Road



See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at