Yorkshire Carnegie v Bedford Blues

Sunday, 29 October, 2017 - 15:00
1st XV Championship
Lost 38-36

The hoodoo of Headingley continued for Bedford Blues on Sunday afternoon as they went down 38-36 to Yorkshire Carnegie in an entertaining encounter.

To make matters even worse, the Blues were millimetres away from levelling a game they looked well and truly out of with five minutes to go.

Having trailed 38-24, a 75th minute Chris Czekaj try which was converted by Will Hooley set up a grand stand finish before two Carnegie players were carded as Bedford battered the try line. Having finally crossed the whitewash deep in stoppage, Hooley stepped up again only for his effort to cruelly strike the upright and bounce clear giving the hosts the win.

It was end to end stuff early on with pressure coming from Carnegie as Chris Elder made a good break into Bedford's 22 before being stopped short. Will Homer then has a good crack, but the Blues turned over the ball and cleared only for the resulting lineout to be driven over the line with Mike Mayhew dotting down and Stevie McColl converting to make it 7-0.

A penalty to the Blues in the 10th minute was fired to touch just outside Carnegie's 22. Having gathered and played to the backs, Mike Le Bourgeois ran well before Will Carrick-Smith broke the line and headed towards the try line only for Carnegie to cover and take him to touch.

Bedford continued to put pressure on the hosts and were rewarded for their efforts in the 14th minute. An attempted clearance from Tom Casson didn't go as planned and the Blues came running back with Le Bourgeois, Jordan Burns and Dean Adamson all linking up well before the ball was played to Jarad Williams for the score which Harry Sheppard converted.

Back came the hosts though as they used their effective lineout to set up a second try in the 24th minute. Despite the maul not working, Carnegie's forwards piled on with Mayhew picking up a loose ball and crashing over for the unconverted try.

Seven minutes later, and Bedford took the lead with another well worked try. With the pack setting up the platform, Adamson and Ben Adamson combined with Le Bourgeois finding space and Burns in support before Dean Adamson spotted a gap and dived over the line with Sheppard adding the extras.

Sheppard then extended the Blues lead with a well struck penalty to make it 12-17 before Carnegie came back with an impressive score just before the break. Bedford were on the attack and looking to extend their lead, but Jack Whetton got his hands on the ball and hurtled up field before offloading smartly to Elder who had the strength to bat away the final defender to score and McColl converted to make it 19-17 at the interval.

The hosts settled into the second half quickly and their impressive driving maul did the business once again as Ollie Stedman fell over the line to make it 24-17 in the 46th minute.

A penalty attempt went wide from McColl shortly afterwards before Bedford were able to level things up in the 57th minute. An impressive lineout move worked perfectly before a chip over the top from Will Hooley was grounded by Dean Adamson with Hooley then converting.

But things turned south for the Blues as first a penalty try gave the hosts seven more points and then Mayhew completed his hat-trick in the 71st minute after another lineout drive which McColl converted.

A knock on from Carnegie in the 74th minute gave Bedford a scrum in front of the posts and another swift move involving Lee Dickson and Will Hooley saw Chris Czekaj cross the line with Hooley converting to make it 38-31.

As Bedford pushed for what looked an unlikely draw, Whetton and then Mayhew were carded for illegally stopping the driving Bedford maul before Alex Penny stretched over the line. After a long deliberation, the ref - who had previously said the ball was knocked on - awarded the try but the conversion agonisingly hit the post to the delight of the Carnegie players and crowd.

There will be a somewhat unwanted week off the Blues before they head back into Championship action against Nottingham under the Friday Night Lights at Goldington Road on the 10th November.

Come on you Blues!!!



Next Home Match

Saturday 23rd March
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road



See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at