THE SAINTS MARCH INTO BEDFORD THIS FRIDAY
This weekend sees the renewal of old rivalries as Bedford Blues welcome Northampton Saints for a much-anticipated Friday night lights fixture against our near neighbours (KO 7:45pm).
Mike Rayer and his counterpart Jim Mallinder are both expected to name strong squads for this Friday’s fixture, as Blues and Saints target improved finishes to the season in the GKIPA Championship and Aviva Premiership respectively.
Since the demise of London Welsh, Saints stepped into the rescue to fulfil this fixture and preparations have taken place on and off-field for a fantastic night at Goldington Road. Ground entry tickets are still available online at £4 discount with the Eagle Stand completely sold out. Click here to buy tickets now.
Whilst Bedford have endured a mixed run of results, Rayer’s troops will be buoyed after two recent away wins over Rotherham Titans and Nottingham, sandwiching a narrow defeat to play-off contenders Ealing Trailfinders.
Saints have equally gone through a topsy-turvy period of results this season, but recent wins over Worcester Warriors and Sale Sharks have elevated Northampton to sixth in the table and battling for a top four spot come the end of season play-offs.
There is a long history and great partnership between the two clubs with the first fixture dating back to September 1887, since then many players have worn both the green and gold of Saints and the blues of Bedford. The most recent player to make the short journey up the A428 and following many legends of the game is former Blues hooker Charlie Clare.
Looking forward to the fixture, he said: “I think it will be a really good atmosphere down there, I know a lot of people who’ve already got tickets – the crowd there is always a big one and with a Beer Festival on it’s bound to be a good night.
“Bedford are always really attacking and like to play with a bit of flair and I’m pretty certain they’ll be going all out which should make for an exciting game. Their back three are always strong and have a lot of pace. Booj will be back from suspension, so there will be plenty of starlets out there for them hoping to show their quality – and probably land a shot on me.”
Away from the field, everything will be in place for another memorable night in our annual rugby and beer festival weekender. Read more on the Beer Festival here.
Both the Goldington Road and Hospital gate entrances will be open as usual, along with the Bushmead gate for ticket only admission (no cash sales), whilst collections and purchases will be at the usual ticket office window and turnstiles.
Pick up a match programme on entry to the ground and head to one of the various bars around the ground, unfortunately the Eagle Bar will be closed for private hospitality before kick-off when it re-opens, all supporters are welcome in the marquee, please use the side entrance.
Alternatively, head to the Scrum Bar behind the posts or Former Players Bar in the bottom corner of the ground as well as two additional bar outlets near around the ground. In the Scrum Hall you will also find Bedfordshire and Luton Wellbeing Services who are running a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of looking after you mental health.
As the teams run out, please give both sets of players and this week’s SSG Guard of Honour from Hitchin Hedgehogs Under 7s along with the Bedford Bear, a loud cheer ahead of the rugby.
The Club hope supporters will once again stick around after the match to join St Patrick’s Day celebrations as DJ Steve O’Flattery plays his Irish music set into the late evening to continue the party atmosphere in the Blues Marquee.
For those wanting to review the match and enjoy expert analysis, catch the Man of the Match Presentation in the marquee or head up to the Eagle Bar for live reaction from players and coaches in the Michael R Peters Final Whistle.
Don’t forget to visit the Blues Club Shop on the night which will be offering a special 10% discount off everything for all supporters. The shop, located next to the marquee, will be open an hour before kick off, half-time and after the game.
Buy tickets online in advance and save a massive £4.00 on all adult tickets, click here to buy.
Season Tickets are valid for the match, but guest passes are not able to be used in the Eagle Stand.