1st XV News

Bedford Blues can confirm that all-time leading point scorer, James Pritchard, will be leaving the club at the end of the season to take up a player/coach role with National One side Coventry.

Pritchard, 36, or Skippy as he is known, celebrated his testimonial with the club last season and has been a key figure at Goldington Road for more than a decade.

The Blues return home this Saturday for the biggest match of the season so far against a Cornish Pirates side brimming with confidence - but with a play-off spot still within Bedford’s grasp the boys need the support of a strong 16th man (kick off 3pm).

In the reverse fixture, Pirates broke Bedford hearts with a last minute winning try and conversion at a boggy Mennaye Field to seal a 32-31 home victory leaving the Blues intent on levelling this season’s outings against Ian Davies’ men.

Bedford Blues was deeply saddened to hear of the premature death of former player Norman Hadley at the age of just 51 over the Easter weekend.

A Canadian international, who captained Canada five times, he made an outstanding contribution to his country's success in reaching the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in 1991.

Second row 'Stormin' Norm joined Bedford at the start of the professional era in 1996 and although uncompromising on the field he proved a popular gentle giant in the clubhouse.

Bedford Blues fell just short against Yorkshire Carnegie at a blustery Headingley as the hosts ran out 35-20 victors in front of the Sky Sports cameras with Blues unlucky not to pick up two bonus points.

Mike Rayer’s men did lead briefly against their fellow top four contenders through a terrific try by Dean Adamson early in the second half, but the home side managed to rescue 17 unanswered points to close it out with Bedford deserving a last-minute consolation, only to be ruled out by a frequent TMO.

Bedford Blues head north this weekend as they prepare to face fourth placed Yorkshire Carnegie in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams have 58 points in the Championship table, but the Blues sit in third place having won one more game than their opponents.

When the teams met at Goldington Road back in November, Carnegie had stormed into a 21 point lead with 17 minutes remaining before three Blues tries from Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, Steffan Jones and George Perkins turned things around. With the game in the balance, Jones then slotted a 50 plus metre penalty in the dying moments to seal the victory.

Doing the double over any team always leaves a good taste, but it will be extra sweet for Doncaster Knights if they can close the gap to Championship leaders Bristol Rugby with victory in the first-versus-second clash this weekend.

Coming into Round 19, the Knights sit ten points adrift of their title rivals with four regular season games left to play.

If reeling in that difference was not motivation enough, hosts Doncaster will welcome their opponents to Castle Park still smarting from a disappointing British and Irish Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Cornish Pirates.

With four games left in the Greene King IPA Championship season, Bedford Blues are delighted to confirm one new signing along with two re-signings for the 2016/17 campaign.

Lock Will Carrick-Smith is heading to Goldington Road having signed on from fellow Championship side London Scottish. The second row star who stands at an impressive six feet 11 inches and tips the scales at 129kg (that’s 20 stone 4lb) has had one season at the Exiles having previously gained Premiership experience with Exeter Chiefs.

The final 2016 Six Nations fixture will be screened live on the big screen in the Scrum Bar this Saturday night as England face France with the opportunity of sealing the Grand Slam.

In a slight change to the original plans, doors now open at 7:30pm on the evening, ready for the big 8pm kick off with Happy Hour prices available on most draught beers.

Food will not be being served, but you are more than welcome to bring your own, whether it's pizza or picnic, but strictly no drink allowed. Support your club by watching England with a few reduced priced beers.

Bedford Blues' Piers O'Conor has been named February's Greene King IPA Championship Player of the Month. The fullback won the title after securing top spot in a public vote, with Doncaster's Matt Challinor coming in second.
Twenty year old O'Conor was nominated in February's line up after proving a revelation for the club during their march back to the top six of the Championship table. After playing for England in the World Rugby U20 Championship final last June, O'Conor has continued his excellent form to stake a regular claim for the Blues coveted fullback shirt.

Bedford Blues went out of the British and Irish Cup on Friday evening as they went down 15-19 to Jersey - you can see all of the tries HERE.

The Islanders have proven to be the thorn in the side for Mike Rayer's men this season as they have racked up their third win wins out of three in the league and cup.

Bedford were left massively frustrated at the final whistle as they did have opportunities to win the tie but on one too many occasions the greasy ball slipped out of hand - most notably when Piers O’Conor made a fantastic break with Pat Tapley in support but the winger just couldn’t grasp the odd shaped ball.



Next Home Match

Saturday 5th November
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road