ACADEMY

MATCH REPORTS 2007/08

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Match Reports are available for the games underlined below - select the report you require - or scroll down to view all reports.

Date

 

 

Opponent

 

Kick Off

 

Result

Pts For

Pts

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday

1/9

Nuneaton

A

14.30

Won

20

3

Sunday

9/9

RAF U23

H

14.00

Cancelled

 

 

Monday

10/9

Leicester Tigers

H

19.00

Lost

8

36

Saturday

15/9

Lutterworth (Cup)

A

15.00

Won

66

3

Sunday

23/9

Leinster

H

13.00

 Lost

22

25 

Saturday

29/9

Moseley

A

15.00

 Won

26 

Saturday

6/10

Nottingham

A

 15.00

 Cancelled

 

 

Saturday

13/10

L,boro Univ Freshers

A

14.00 

 Won

11 

10 

Saturday

20/10

Stockwood Park (Cup)

A

 15.00 

 Cancelled

 

 

Saturday

27/10

Northampton Saints

A

14.00 

 Lost

16 

Saturday

3/11

Leicester Tigers

H

14.00

 Lost

10 

35 

Saturday

10/11

Cambridge Univ U21

A

14.15 

 Won

21 

Sunday

18/11

Mansfield (Cup)

A 

13.00 

 Won

19 

Saturday

24/11

Leeds Carnegie

H

14.30

 Lost

10 

Saturday

1/12

 

 

 

 

   

Wednesday

5/12

East Midlands U20

A

19.30

  Won
37
13

Saturday

8/12

     

 

   

Sunday

16/12

Hertford

H

14.00

 Cancelled

   

Saturday

22/12

Nuneaton

H

13.00

 Won

27
7

Saturday

29/12

 

 

 

 

   

Saturday

5/1

 

 

 

 

   

Saturday

12/1

Coventry

A

14.15

 Won

10
0

Saturday

19/1

Bedford Ath (Cup)

H 

17.00 

 Won

29
0

Saturday

26/1

North Walsham

H

14.00

 Won

75
10

Saturday

2/2

Nottingham

A

  14.00

 Won

12
10

Saturday

9/2

Moseley

H

13.30 

 Won

24
5

Saturday

16/2

Training

 

12.00 

 

   

Saturday

23/2

Worcester (Cup)

A 

14.00 

 Won

44
0

Saturday

1/3

L,boro Univ Freshers

H

14.30

 Won

27
11

Saturday

8/3

Northampton Saints

13.00

 Lost

27 

31 

Saturday

15/3

Caldy (Cup)

H 

 14.00  

 Won

98
8

Saturday

22/3

North Walsham

A

 

 Cancelled

   

Saturday

29/3

USA Eagles

H

15.00 

 Won

50
3
Saturday        5/4   Training     12.00        

Sunday

6/4

Hertford

A

 

 Cancelled

   

Saturday

12/4

London Welsh (Cup)

H 

14.30 

 Won

18
8

Saturday

19/4

Coventry

H

15.00

 Cancelled

   

Saturday

26/4

Leeds Tykes

A

 14.00

 Lost

3
36

Monday

5/5

Nuneaton - Cup Final

 A

 15.00

 Won

33
16

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Bedford Colts 33 pts: Nuneaton 16 pts:

Monday May 5th 2008:

For Video highlights see here ..... http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=MCKLD05TftY

 

The Blues made history at Franklin’s Gardens by becoming the first ever side to retain the National Colts Knock Out Cup by defeating Nuneaton by 33pts – 16pts.  Two clubs have won the trophy twice previously; London Irish (in 1999 and 2003) and Bath (2000, 2002); but no club has ever won the trophy in consecutive years. 

 

 

John Mitchell helps the Blues Colts celebrate

 

 

Blues Colts 2008

The game started with mistakes from both sides as they settled into the game before Nuneaton took an early lead with a penalty from fly half Tom Short.  Bedford took the lead with a well worked try when flanker Jack Micans put in centre James Knight.  Bedford put on further pressure straight from the kick off and were rewarded with a try from centre Duncan Taylor, who chased a kick ahead to touch down in the corner.  Nuneaton narrowed the gap with another penalty from Short.  The Blues took the game back to Nuneaton and two penalties from full back Luke Radley put Bedford 16pts – 6pts ahead at half time.

 

Bedford started the second half well.  A further penalty from Radley made the score 19pts – 6pts before the Blues scored the try of the game 10 minutes after half time.  A drive out of defence from Knight was supported by the Blues forwards who drove the ball upfield, centre Duncan Taylor fed hooker Chris Locke who broke through the Nuneaton defence.  The ball was offloaded to flanker Shane Allen, taken on by Micans, and No. 8 Tom Armes who fed winger Gareth Clarke.  Clarke beat his man and passed back inside to Armes to touch down under the posts.  Radley converted and the Blues were 26pts – 6pts ahead.  Nuneaton worked their way back into the Blues half, and with a rash of substitutions from both sides disrupting the rhythm of both teams, and Radley in the sin bin, for offside at a ruck under the posts, Nuneaton scored two late tries from Short and winger Brett Chatwin.  Bedford scored again with another fine try, this time from winger David Kingsbury after the Blues had made good ground for Knight to put Kingsbury into space.  Radley converted and the final score was 33pts – 16pts to the Blues.

 

Knight in Defence

Shane Allen,

Denis Ormesher and Tom Williams

Shane Allen and

John Mitchell

 

This was a tough game for the Blues.  As holders and favorites a lot was expected of them.  Nuneaton, who had lost to the Blues twice this season, are a good side and have won 26 of their 31 games this season, scoring nearly 1,000 points.  They put Bedford under pressure on a number of occasions.  The Blues defence was effective for most of the game, but credit must go to Nuneaton for taking advantage of Bedford when they were down to 14 men and scoring two good tries wide out.

 

There was a good crowd of over 2,000 to support the Colts at Franklin’s Gardens, including many of last years Cup winning squad.  Tom Williams, last year’s captain, and Shane Allen, this year’s captain, are seen above at Goldington Road after the game.  The Colts presented supporter John Mitchell with a framed signed photo of John with the squad, taken after the London Welsh semi-final.

 

Thanks must go to a long list of people who helped to make a successful season end with a trophy; Mark Alderton and Steve Guest for their support in coaching; Martin Elliott for his organization behind the scenes; our physios, Ben and Harriet, for keeping the squad fit, repairing injuries and acting as “agony aunts” to the squad; the Blues supporters who have supported the team in many of their games; Richard Siudak and Nigel Rudgard for their match day photography; Geoff Irvine, Gareth Davies and Mike Rayer for their encouragement and support over the season; the players’ parents who have been a really supportive group over the whole season; and most of all the players themselves who have offered the coaching team a whole host of challenges, and egos, to deal with but who have individually improved as players and collectively “gelled” as a squad over the season. 

 

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Chris Locke, Jordan McIntyre, Shane Allen (capt), Carl Sudiack, Jack Miccans, Jamie Wilkins, Tom Armes; Darryl Veenendaal, Jack Hoyles; Adam Martin, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Luke Radley: Subs: Pat Reed, James Wright, Tom Lenton, Ollie Pickett, Tom Wilmore, David Kingsbury, Corey Hircock:

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Bedford Colts 18 pts: London Welsh 8 pts:

Saturday April 12th 2008:

 

For Match photos from Nigel Rudgard see ... here

 

With a crowd of around 500 the Blues Colts moved into the Final of the National Colts Knock Out Cup in a tight game against a strong London Welsh side.  Ahead by 10pts - 3pts at half time the Blues, down to 13 men because of two sin binnings, put up an outstanding defensive performance to end as winners by 18pts – 8pts.  

 

 

Blues Colts Squad, with supporter John Mitchell, after the London Welsh game.

 

London Welsh started well when their kick off was mis-fielded by the Blues allowing the Welsh to put Bedford under immediate pressure.  The Welsh won a lineout and drove the Blues back, Bedford conceded a penalty and the Welsh full back Sam Katz kicked the goal to put the Welsh 3pts ahead.  Bedford hit straight back when the Blues won a London Welsh scrum, No.8 Tom Armes broke and linked with flanker Jack Micans and scrum half Tom Wilmore.  The Blues were held on the Welsh line, and the Welsh conceded a penalty for offside in their back line.  Bedford full back Luke Radley kicked the goal to level the scores at 3pts all.  The game remained evenly balanced with the Welsh pack dominating the lineout and the Blues dominating the set scrum.  Bedford began to give away penalties in the contact area but Welsh were unable to convert them to points.  Bedford went ahead when from a lineout Micans broke away, the ruck was won and Wilmore linked with fly half Jack Hoyles who put winger Gareth Clarke away.  Clarke made good ground and popped the ball to centre James Knight to score; Radley converted.  London Welsh came straight back from the kick off and attacked the Blues line.  Bedford No.8 Armes was sin binned just before half time for killing the ball.  The Welsh kicked the penalty into the corner to try to set up another driving lineout but the Blues defence held and the Blues went into the half time break 10pts – 3pts ahead.

 

Welsh attacked straight after half time and with a one man advantage began to attack through their pack with a series of pick and drives but the Blues defence held.  Three minutes into the half Micans was sin binned for collapsing a driving maul close to the Blues line, and the Blues were down to 13 men.  The Welsh scored a good try when England U18 winger Will Browne showed electric pace to gather a cross field kick to score in the corner; the conversion was missed; 10pts – 8pts to Bedford.   Three minutes later the Blues hit back when a series of good attacks pressurized the Welsh into conceding a penalty, Radley kicked the goal; 13pts – 8pts to Bedford.  The next 15 mins saw increased pressure from the Welsh who continued to attack through their pack.  The time spent in training on defence now began to pay off.  The Blues defence was outstanding and time after time they repelled the Welsh attack.  The Blues were helped by some poor decision making from the Welsh backs, who ignored the pace they had out wide, cutting inside and attacking through their forwards.  Back to 15 men the Blues began to put together some good attacks and Clarke and 2nd row Shane Allen were both pulled down short of the Welsh line.  The Blues eventually got the winning score when from a lineout close to the Welsh line, the Blues attacked through their forwards and then moved the ball wide for centre Duncan Taylor to score, to make the final score 18pts – 8pts to the Blues. 

 

Whilst a win in a very tight semi-final is to be celebrated there is a lot of hard work to be done over the next few weeks.  The Blues lack of discipline conceded far too many penalties and, although the back line looked good on the break, the Blues need to be more patient and develop phases rather than forcing the pass.  The Blues defence, individually and collectively, was outstanding and is a real strength of the squad. 

 

The Blues will play Nuneaton in the final on Monday May 5th at Franklin’s Gardens. Nuneaton beat Dudley Kingswinford 14pts - 5pts in the other semi.  Bedford, who won the Cup last year defeating Redruth by 30pts – 5pts, will be attempting to become the first ever side to retain the trophy.  Two clubs have won the trophy twice previously; London Irish (in 1999 and 2003) and Bath (2000 and 2002); but no club has ever won the trophy in consecutive years.

  

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Chris Locke, Jordan McIntyre, Shane Allen (capt), Carl Sudiack, Jack Miccans, Jamie Wilkins, Tom Armes; Tom Wilmore, Jack Hoyles; David Kingsbury, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Luke Radley: Subs: Pat Reed, Sam Pacey, Tom Lenton, Ollie Pickett, Darryl Veenendaal, Ashley Harvey, Corey Hircock:

 

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Bedford Colts 50 pts: USA Eagles 3pts:

Saturday March 29th 2008:

 

Bedford were too strong for the USA National team today beating them by 50 pts - 3 pts at Goldington Road.  Bedford played the open syle of game they have been developing this season and through power, pace and support were too strong for the USA.  Bedford went into a half time lead with 1st half tries from Joe Allen, Shane Allen and James Knight.  The Blues stretched their lead with 2nd half tries from Duncan Taylor, Ashley Harvey, James Knight and Tom Armes (2), and 5 conversions from Luke Radley.

 

 

Bedford took an early lead with a try from 2nd row Joe Allen from a driven lineout but in strong wind and rain both sides struggled initially to cope with the greasy ball.  Bedford attempted to move the ball but the USA showed some good defence and put in some of the hardest hits the Blues have felt all season.  The USA lineout, with captain Tim Barford prominent, began to win some good ball and put in a number of effective driving mauls.  Bedford stretched their lead from a set scrum on the left they won a heel against the head, No.8 Tom Armes went blind, linked with blind side flanker Jack Micans who fed open side flanker Shane Allen for a well worked forwards’ try.  Bedford’s third came just before half time when a good break from fly half Jack Wrigglesworth was taken on by centre Duncan Taylor who put in his centre colleague James Knight.  USA narrowed the gap with a well taken penalty from fly half Brad Harrington to make the half time score 15pts -3pts.

 

Bedford turned around after half time and began to raise the tempo of the game; offloads began to find the support player and the Blues pack began to get on top.  Taylor scored under the posts after a quick show of the ball and an inside break; Micans made a 40 metre break and fed the ball inside to winger Ashley Harvey to score; another break by Taylor put Knight in for his 2nd try; two fine individual tries by No.8 Armes finished the game.  Full back Luke Radley converted all five 2nd half tries to make the final score 50pts – 3pts to the Blues.

 

“Man-of-the-Match” ?  Without a doubt - Jack Micans - started at blind side flanker, moved to 2nd row and then moved to prop - yet still the most mobile Blues forward - everywhere in support - highlights being the tries he set up for his back row colleague Shane Allen in the 1st half - and winger Ashley Harvey in the 2nd half with a 40 metre break and a deft inside pass to Ash in support.  With flanker Allen and No.8 Armes, a very effective back row unit.  The quality of the Blues performance in very difficult conditions was good and their ability to increase the tempo of the game as it progressed showed the mental focus they are developing and the fitness level they have reached. 

 

Jack Micans

      USA show how to tackle

         Siudak takes on the Eagles

 

Bedford will focus their training over the next 2 weeks on their National Colts Cup Semi Final against London Welsh - Saturday April 12th, KO 3 pm @ Goldington Road.

 

Bedford: Harry Roberts, Chris Locke, Michael Skinner, Joe Allen, Carl Sudiack, Jack Miccans, Shane Allen (capt), Tom Armes; Tom Wilmore, Jack Wrigglesworth; David Kingsbury, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Luke Radley: Subs: Pat Reed, Ben Ashby, Jamie Wilkins, David Graham, Ashley Harvey, Corey Hircock:

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Bedford Colts 98 pts: Caldy Colts 8pts:

Saturday March 15th 2008:

 

For Match photos from Nigel Rudgard see... here

Bedford moved into the Semi Finals of the National Colts Knock Out Cup with an emphatic win by 98pts – 8pts against Caldy at Goldington Road.  Caldy were outclassed by a Blues side that played a game of off-loading and support that delighted the crowd at Goldington Road.  The Blues were 45pts – 8pts up at half time and kept playing rugby right to the end, scoring a further 53 pts in the second half.

 

Bedford opened the scoring in less than a minute when the Blues kicked off, Caldy caught the ball but the Blues turned over possession at the ruck, the ball was moved wide to the right and winger Gareth Clarke went over for the first of his 6 tries.  Full back Luke Radley converted from the far right touchline and the Blues were 7 pts up.  Clarke scored his second when from a set move from a short lineout on the left hand side the Blues won a ruck in midfield, and the ball was again moved wide to the right wing for Clarke to score in the corner.  Radley, reacting quickly when the ball fell over as he began his run for the conversion, drop kicked the conversion from the touchline.  The Blues went on to score a further 5 tries before half time; centre Duncan Taylor, after a textbook counterattack had changed the point of attack;  flanker Jack Micans after a set move from a short lineout where the Blues forwards attacked the Caldy 10/12 channel and sucked in the Caldy defence; Clarke, after the Blues forwards, with prop Jordan McIntyre to the fore, had again made good ground; flanker Shane Allen, after a 20m forward drive from a lineout; second row Joe Allen, straight from a restart when second row Carl Siudack won the ball, the forwards linked and made good ground and Micans offloaded to Allen for a good team try.  Radley converted two of the tries.  Caldy displayed some good touches in the first half scoring a penalty, and a try made by great football skills from winger James Silcock who popped a pass to Liam Cambridge for their only try.

 

Gareth Clarke

Jack Micans

Luke Radley

Bedford raised the tempo even further with 9 tries in the second half; loose head prop Micky Skinner dived over after great support play from the Blues had worked the ball through 7 phases; not to be outdone tight head prop Jordan McIntyre scored the next from a lineout drive; fly half Jack Hoyles cut through the centre to score under the posts; Clarke added three more, the second after a backwards pass through his legs from centre Duncan Taylor; further tries came from fly half Darryl Veenendaal, when he charged down a Caldy clearance; and wingers Corey Hircock and David Kingsbury both scoring wide out after great approach work from the Blues had opened up a tired Caldy defence.  Radley added 4 conversions to complete the scoring, for the Blues to end as convincing winners by 98pts – 8pts.

 

The Front Row Union  

Jordan McIntyre

Chris Locke

  Micky Skinner

This was a very good performance with the Blues showing great discipline to stick to their game plan and to keep the tempo of the game high.  The Blues squad was a mix of ages with the youngsters (5 Under 17s and 7 Under 18s) all performing well.  The support play from backs and forwards was outstanding and the ability of the whole team to offload to support, to keep the ball alive, and to change the point of attack, led to 16 tries, and a demo of how rugby should be played.  The Blues have a week off, with no game over Easter, before their next game – a home game against the USA Eagles (coached by former Blues Academy Coach Stuart Low), in two weeks time.  The Blues will find out their semi-final opponents when the draw for the Semis is done tomorrow.

 

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Chris Locke, Jordan McIntyre, Joe Allen, Carl Sudiack, Jack Miccans, Shane Allen (capt), Tom Armes; Tom Wilmore, Jack Hoyles; David Kingsbury, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Luke Radley: Subs: Luke Levitt, James Wright, Tom Lenton, Jamie Wilkins, David Graham, Darryl Veenendaal, Corey Hircock:

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Bedford Colts 27pts: Northampton Saints Academy 31pts:

Saturday March 8th 2008:

Bedford Colts lost to Northampton Saints Academy by 31pts -27pts in a tight game played at the Bedford International Athletics Stadium.  Saints, one of the RFU funded academies, achieved the "double" over the Blues having won the encounter earlier in the season by 16pts – 0. 

 

It was a determined Blues team that started the game with pace and intensity almost scoring directly from the kick off and creating at least two more try scoring chances in the first ten minutes as they applied pressure phase after phase inside the Northampton half.  As a direct result of this sustained pressure fullback Luke Radley was able to kick two early penalties to give the home side a 6 point lead.  Shortly after Radley’s second penalty Saints started to get their hands on the ball and apply pressure of their own.  As a result of this pressure the Blues began to suffer from indiscipline as penalty after penalty put Northampton into strong field positions and resulted in three yellow cards for the home team.  The Northampton team possessed some very talented ball runners and with a numbers advantage on the field they were able to score three tries to lead by 19pts - 6pts at half time.

Jack Hoyles

Hircock tackles Martin

Contact !

The Blues took the field in the second half knowing that their discipline had to improve and that they had a lot of work to do to get back into the game but an early try from 80m out to Northampton put them further in the lead by 26pts – 6pts.  The Blues showed some real character however, running the ball from all parts of the field and scoring some fantastic team tries; two from center James Knight and one from fly half Jack Holyes.  These tries along with scintillating goal kicking from Luke Radley meant that the game was there for the taking with five minutes to play as the Blues trailed by only four points.  The most unlikely of come backs was not to be however as again lack of discipline cost Bedford, and Saints were able to pin the Blues inside their 22 and control the ball to run the clock down.

 

This is a match that the Blues will look back on with some frustration as they played enough quality rugby to beat an RFU funded academy side however through their own lack of discipline and patience they handed the opposition golden scoring chances which Saints grabbed with both hands.  We hope the team can learn the lessons from this encounter and carry them into the rest of the season.

 

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Chris Locke, Jordan McIntyre, Carl Siudak, Jack Miccans, Joe Allen, Shane Allen (capt), Tom Armes; Tom Wilmore, Jack Hoyles; Corey Hircock, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Luke Radley: Subs: Luke Levitt, Harry Roberts, James Wright, Tom Lenton, Jack Sutton, Jamie Wilkins, Martin Watkins, David Graham:

 

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Bedford Colts 27pts: Loughborough University Freshers 11pts:

Saturday March 1st 2008:

 

Bedford managed the "double" on Loughborough University Freshers.  Having won by one point in October the Blues, "outweighed" by their older opponents, played some excellent rugby to go into half time 20pts ahead.  The size advantage of the University, on average one – two years older than the Blues, began to tell in the 2nd half, but the Bedford youngsters put on a great 2nd half defensive display to end up as winners by 27pts - 11pts, in front of a good crowd at Russell Park.

 

Joe Allen attacks for the Blues

The back row - Armes supported by Wilkins and Allen

Jack Micans in full stride

L’boro started well and the bigger students won some good ball to put the Blues under pressure.  The Bedford defence was strong and well organized and L’boro could not find a way through.  The Blues opened their scoring when a L’boro attack was turned over by flanker Tom Armes and hooker Luke Levitt.  Centre James Knight made a break and fed an inside pass to full back Luke Radley for the first score; Radley converted and the Blues were 7pts – 0 up.  Bedford began to control the game and to create some good attacks with centres Duncan Taylor and Knight finding space and Radley counterattacking continually.  This paid off when Taylor and Knight created space wide out on the right and fed winger Gareth Clarke for a good try; Radley converted.  The Blues continued their fluid game and the University began to give away a string of penalties as they tried to slow down the Blues’ attacks.  Radley kicked an easy penalty from in front of the posts, and 5 minutes later, full of confidence, stepped up to take a penalty just inside the L’boro half and wide out on the right.  The kick sailed over and the Blues were 20pts up at half time. 

Bedford opened the 2nd half well and strung together a number of phases of attack.  Following one attack the University were penalized on the half way line, scrum half Tom Wilmore took a quick tap and fed the ball to Jack Micans who made good ground before putting Clarke in for a try in the corner; Radley converted from the touchline; 27pts – 0 to the Blues 5 minutes into the half.  The pattern of the game now began to change as L’boro began to settle and started to use their weight advantage attacking the Blues close in.  The bigger L’boro forwards began to drive the ball and put the Blues defence under a lot of pressure.  Bedford had to dig in and put together an outstanding defensive performance, with great organization and communication and some telling tackles.  L’boro attacked the Blues line for most of the half but all they could achieve were 2 penalties, until the final play of the game when their left winger scored in the corner.

  

L’boro student Radley, full back for the Blues, was in the words of the L’boro coach  "man of the match", punishing L’boro with his goalkicking and his breaks from deep, making the L’boro coaches "regret the day" they ignored him in this season's L’boro Freshers trials !  Also outstanding against opponents 2 - 3 years older than them were 17 year olds Tom Armes, Jamie Wilkins, and Gareth Clarke and 18 year old Duncan Taylor.  Bedford now gear up their preparations for a tough game against Northampton Saints Academy next Saturday, and for their Cup Quarter Final game the week after.  Saints, one of the RFU funded academies, beat the Blues earlier in the season by 16pts – 0.

 

Bedford: Jordan McIntyre, Luke Levitt, James Wright, Tom Lenton, Jack Micans, Tom Armes, Jamie Wilkins, Joe Allen (capt); Tom Wilmore, Jack Hoyles; David Kingsbury, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Luke Radley: Subs: Harry Roberts, Pat Reed, Michael Marfo, Carl Sudiack, Jack Sutton, Chris Locke, David Graham, Jack Wrigglesworth, Corey Hircock;

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Worcester Colts 0 pts: Bedford Colts 44pts:

Saturday February 23rd 2008:

  

Bedford moved into the Quarter Finals of the National Colts Knock Out Cup with a convincing win by 44pts – 0 against Worcester.  Playing against a strong wind in the 1st half Bedford were 27pts – 0 up at half time, playing some outstanding rugby, and went on to score a total of 7 tries in a good display of open running rugby.

 

Bedford started well and came close to scoring on a number of occasions but the Worcester defence managed to hold.  The Worcester fly half, who had a good game with limited possession, used the wind well to gain ground.  The Bedford back line were making good breaks, and offloading the ball to the Blues forwards who were everywhere in support.  Bedford hit a “purple patch” and scored 5 tries in a fifteen minute spell before half time to effectively kill off the game.  Joe Burton scored the first from a driving maul; centre Gareth Clarke the second following a fine break from fly half Jack Hoyles;  scrum half Tom Wilmore broke around the blind side of a scrum for the third; Clarke added another when from a lineout on their own 22 Bedford attacked with flanker Jack Miccans, hooker Chris Locke, and Burton making good ground, before Hoyles put Clarke away again; and flanker Shane Allen scored after Miccans and full back Luke Radley had opened up the Worcester defence.  Radley kicked two conversions to make the half time score 27pts – 0.       

 

Bedford continued in the same vein in the second half; second row Joe Allen scored after an attack, which started deep in the Blues half, from Hoyles, Radley and winger David Kingsbury; and Clarke added another after a great Blues attack, the ball was offloaded by winger Corey Hircock to Clarke who looped around the outside before flattening the Worcester full back with a handoff and scoring under the posts.  Worcester never gave up competing and came back strongly at Bedford in the last 15 minutes.  With Worcester continually battering away at the Blues line, Bedford’s defence was outstanding.  They demonstrated good defensive organization, great communication and put in some fine tackles.  The determination shown by the Blues to deny Worcester a consolation score in this last period, with the game already won, was a real credit to them.  2 conversions and a penalty from Radley completed the scoring for the Blues to end as convincing winners by 44pts – 0. 

Gareth Clarke scores his first

Blues pack take control

Radley counter-attacks

Burton says farewell  

This was a very good performance from the Blues.  The backs ran some excellent lines and whenever they were stopped were always looking to offload the ball out of contact.  The forwards support play was outstanding and the ability of the whole team to keep the ball alive, and to change the point of attack, led to a strong team performance.  The Blues said good bye to No.8 Joe Burton who leaves this week for a 6 month spell playing rugby in Auckland New Zealand.  Joe has had a very good season, and his performance yesterday, carrying the ball yards at a time, was amongst his best.  The Blues have two tough weeks coming up with games against Loughborough University Freshers, and Northampton Saints, before the Cup Quarter Final which is due to be played the weekend of March 15th.

  

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Chris Locke, Jordan McIntyre, Joe Allen, Joe Burton, Jack Miccans, Shane Allen (capt), Tom Armes; Tom Wilmore, Jack Hoyles; David Kingsbury, Duncan Taylor, Gareth Clarke, Ashley Harvey; Luke Radley: Subs: Luke Levitt, James Wright, Carl Sudiack, Tom Lenton, Jamie Wilkins, Martin Watkins, Corey Hircock;

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Bedford Colts 24 pts: Moseley Colts 5pts:

Saturday February 9th 2008:

With a strong 1st half performance, Bedford Colts were too strong for Moseley, beating them by 24pts - 5pts at Russell Park, and in beautiful sunny conditions extended their winning run to seven games.  In one of their best defensive efforts of the season the Blues were able to consistently hit Moseley behind the defensive line stopping attack after attack and often forcing Moseley to kick the ball to regain the territory they had lost with the ball in hand.  The Blues were able to dominate the ruck and scrum however Moseley managed to stay in the game via their efficient line out work as they controlled their own ball and at times stole valuable lineout ball from the Blues.

  

Bedford No.8, Joe Burton scores the second
and scrum half Martin Watkins, the third

The scoring in the first half was all from the Blues with fullback Luke Radley opening the account ten minutes into the game as he gathered a loose pass to glide through the opposition defence to score in the right hand corner.  He converted from near the touchline to give the Blues a 7pts lead.  The Blues’ domination at the scrum was rewarded when a Moseley feed was turned over and No.8 Joe Burton reacted quickly and broke away for a score under the posts.  Radley again converted to extend the lead to 14pts.  The first half scoring was completed when scrum half Martin Watkins found space on the short side and scored in the left hand corner just before the break.  With the conversion from Radley, the halftime score was 21pts – 0 to the Blues.

The intensity in second half did not let up however the scoring rate slowed as both teams made numerous changes to their starting line ups.  The Blues continued to look threatening when moving the ball wide, especially with Radley injecting himself into the line from fullback, and it was after one of these attacks that Radley converted a penalty chance to extend the Blues lead to 24pts.  The Moseley side was able to continue to disrupt the Blues lineout in the second half and via this gain more field position and attack the Blues.  Bedford were able to repel these attacks for the majority of the half however Moseley did find success from a well organized lineout drive that resulted in a try in the right hand corner with about fifteen minutes left.

 

This was a deserved win for the Blues who displayed real intensity in defence and converted their attacking opportunities well, especially in the first half.  The Blues now continue their build up for the next round of the National Colts Cup with some hard training sessions planned over the next two weeks.

 

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Pat Reed, James Wright, Tom Lenton, Carl Sudiack, Joe Allen, Shane Allen (capt), Joe Burton; Martin Watkins, Corey Hircock; Anthony Fenner, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Tom Meller; Luke Radley: Subs: Ben Ashby, Kenny Jones, Ed Miller, Lawrence Coward, Jamie Wilkins, Tom Armes, David Graham, Tom Wilmore, Darryl Veenendaal

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Nottingham Colts 10pts: Bedford Colts 12 pts:

Saturday February 2nd 2008:

 

In difficult windy conditions on Saturday the Bedford Blues Academy team was able to extend their unbeaten run to six games with a hard fought 12pts - 10pts victory over Nottingham.

The Blues started the game well.  In the first half, in difficult windy conditions, they were able to move the ball wide and always looked the more likely team to cross the try line.  The Blues were able to create two fantastic team tries; the first to loose forward Joe Allen, after some brilliant inter-passing between forwards and backs; and the second to left wing David Kingsbury, who was put away after a probing kick from scrum half Tom Wilmore found space behind the Nottingham defence and was re-gathered by Blues players.  

Hooker Chris Locke feeds Joe Allen

Winger Daivd Kingsbury breaks clear

Bedford turned at the break leading 12pts - 3pts and playing with the wind behind them they should have taken control of the game.  However full credit must be given to a Nottingham team who started to take control around the fringes of the ruck and punch holes close into the Bedford pack who were forced to make tackle after tackle.  This relentless pressure from Nottingham was finally rewarded when they crossed for a well taken try in the right hand corner mid-way through the second half and with a superb side line conversion they were able to close the gap to just two points.  In the last quarter of the game Bedford were able to hold out a determined Nottingham team showing courageous defence despite at times taking the wrong options with ball in hand.  

This was a hard fought encounter played with a high level of physicality that the Bedford team were desperately in need of.  The Blues can take a lot of lessons from this encounter about how to control a close game in the last 20mins, and the team now continues their build up for the next round of the National Colts Knock Out Cup with a home game against Moseley on Saturday. 

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Chris Locke, James Wright, Tom Lenton, Jack Miccans, Joe Allan, Shane Allen, Joe Burton; Tom Wilmore, Corey Hircock; David Kingsbury, Duncan Taylor, Jack Wrigglesworth, Tom Meller; Luke Radley: Subs: Ben Ashby, Pat Reed, Carl Sudiack, Jack Briggs, Jamie Wilkins, Martin Watkins, Anthony Fenner, David Graham:

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Bedford Colts 75 pts: North Walsham 10 pts:

Saturday January 26th 2008:

In their best performances this season, Bedford were too strong for a good North Walsham side beating them by 75pts – 10pts.  Bedford spent the first 20 minutes demonstrating a mix of forward domination, incisive backs running, and great linking between backs and forwards and were 26pts ahead after 20 minutes. Whilst the first 20 minutes were good, Bedford managed to play even better for the rest of the game, scoring 11 tries (from 10 different players), all a result of great teamwork and support play.

 

Flankers ... Jack Miccans ...
.... and Shane Allen ... in full stride

Bedford started well centre Duncan Taylor took a great line to break through, fed No.8 Joe Allen who put in scrum half Tom Wilmore for the first try.  Full back Luke Radely converted from the touchline.  Bedford’s second came from winger Tom Meller, after a broken field break from Chris Locke was taken on by Radley who gave Meller space to power through the tackle to score and with Radley’s conversion the Blues were 14 pts up after 10 minutes.  Bedford began to put into place much they have been threatening to do for some weeks with the backs breaking the line with intelligent running, the forwards coming from deep in support, and backs and forwards offloading the ball to support players to keep the pace of the game high.  Further Blues tries came from winger Ashley Harvey (2), flanker Shane Allen, Radley, and second row Joe Burton.  North Walsham scored a penalty just before half time to make the half time score 47pts – 3pts to Bedford.      

 

Meller scores in the first half ...
.... and Veenendaal in the second.

With wholesale substitutions at half time it took the Blues new formation some time to settle down.  North Walsham scored a good try wide out which was converted by their loose head prop, before the Blues got back into their stride.  Bedford tries came from Darryl Veenendaal, Joe Allen, Tom Armes (scored after a jinking run from Luke Levitt had opened up a hole in his former club’s defence), and Corey Hircock.  With 10 conversions from Radley from 11 attempts, the final score was 75pts – 10pts to the Blues.

 

The quality of this Blues performance should not be underestimated.  North Walsham are a good side but they came up against Bedford at their best.  Bedford have not played well since early December and have been disappointed with their recent  performances, which have been below the standard they have set for themselves. Some hard talking at training on Monday (with a 45 minutes open forum session), followed by a very hard week’s training, meant that the Blues were focused and at their best.  Experiments with a new half back pairing in each half were successful, and the pack increased their work rate significantly.  Luke Radley, switched from 10 last week to 15 this week, was outstanding and with 10 kicks out of 11 attempts, and great running from deep, competed with centre Duncan Taylor and flanker Jack Miccans, for Man of the Match.

  

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Chris Locke, Jordan McIntyre, Joe Burton, Tom Lenton, Jack Miccans, Shane Allen (capt), Joe Allen; Tom Wilmore, Corey Hircock; Tom Meller, Jack Wrigglesworth, Duncan Taylor, Ashley Harvey; Luke Radley: Subs: Harry Roberts, Luke Levitt, James Wright, Jack Briggs, Tom Armes, Jamie Wilkins, David Graham, Martin Watkins, Darryl Veenendaal:

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Bedford Colts 29 pts: Bedford Athletic Colts 0 pts:

Saturday January 19th 2008:

 

For Match photos from Nigel Rudgard see... here

Bedford went through to the 5th Round (last 16) of the National Colts Knock Out Cup with a 29pts – 0 win against Bedford Athletic.  The game, played in difficult conditions, with persistent rain throughout the game, was watched by a crown of around 1,000 with Blues supporters staying on after the Blues 14pts -12 win over Exeter, and Ath supporters arriving after their 11pts – 0 win over Longton.

 

The Ath forwards started well and put the Blues under pressure from the start, and for the first 15 minutes looked the better side.  The Blues opened the scoring, however, when from inside their own 22, good Blues’ defence caused the Ath to spill the ball.  It was gathered by centre James Knight who raced the length of the pitch for the opening try, which he converted himself to put the Blues ahead by 7pts – 0.  5 minutes later the Blues extended their lead when a break from Knight was taken on by winger Corey Hircock who, with a good handoff, made ground before feeding the ball inside to centre Duncan Taylor to score under the posts.  Knight converted to put the Blues 14pts – 0 up.  The Ath came back into the game with the Ath forwards winning some good ball.  The Blues went further ahead with a penalty from fly half Luke Radley to go into half time 17pts – 0 ahead.

 

Kinght scores the first try ...
....and Taylor the second

The second half saw the rain get heavier making it difficult for both sides.  The Blues forwards began to get on top and the Blues attacked for long periods but were unable to score.  The Ath defence, sharpened by a mid-week session with Mike Ford, the England defence coach, held the Blues out for most of the half.  It was not until the 29th minute of the 2nd half that the Blues went further ahead when, from a quick tap penalty, full back Gareth Clarke scored, Knight converted, and the Blues were 24 pts – 0 ahead.  Bedford went further ahead when a good break from scum half David Graham was taken on by Clarke who put winger Ashley Harvey in for a try in the corner, to make the final score 29 pts – 0.

Allen and Radley make the tackle .....
........ reinforcements arrive

Both sides need to be congratulated for putting on a good game for the crowd, despite the difficult conditions.  The Ath made the Blues fight hard for the win.  Bedford will find out their opponents for the next round when the draw for the next round is done on Monday.  

 

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Chris Locke, James Wright, Joe Allen, Tom Lenton, Jack Miccans, Shane Allen (capt), Joe Burton; Martin Watkins, Luke Radley; Corey Hircock, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Ashley Harvey; Gareth Clarke: Subs: Luke Levitt, Harry Roberts, Carl Sudiack, Tom Armes, Jamie Wilkins, David Graham, David Kingsbury;

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Coventry 0 pts: Bedford Colts 10 pts:

Saturday January 12th 2008:

 

In their worst performance in “living memory", Bedford managed to scrape a 10pts – 0 win today against a Coventry team 1 - 2 years younger than them. 

 

Bedford spent the first 20 minutes demonstrating a mix of poor decision making, and an absence of basic core skills. Whilst the first 20 minutes were poor, Bedford managed to play even worse for the rest of the game, and allowed Coventry to stop them playing rugby. Two tries from winger Ashley Harvey, playing his first game for the Blues, let Bedford “off the hook” in a game that they were lucky to win. 

  

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Pat Reed, Harry Roberts, Jack Miccans, Tom Lenton, Marcus Wale, Jamie Wilkins, Joe Burton (capt); Tom Wilmore, Luke Radley; Tom Meller, Duncan Taylor, Adam Martin, Ashley Harvey; David Kingsbury; Subs: Chris Locke, Carl Sudiack, Joe Allen, Shane Allen,  David Graham, Corey Hircock, Anthony Fenner, Jack Wrigglesworth:

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Bedford Colts 27 pts: Nuneaton 7 pts:

Saturday December 22nd 2007:

 

Nuneaton are in the middle of an impressive season, having played 17 games and won 16 of them, winning their last 15 games on the run, and scoring over 600 pts in the process.  As the only game they have lost this season was in September when Bedford beat them 20pts - 3pts, Nuneaton were looking to avenge this defeat and give the Blues a tough test.  Bedford were, however, too strong for Nuneaton, scoring 5 tries to 1 to win by 27pts – 7pts.

 

Bedford started well and scrum half Martin Watkins went over for a try in the corner following an impressive drive by the forwards.  Centre James Knight soon got Bedford’s 2nd, which was converted by Adam Martin.  The forwards added a third from a lineout drive when Shane Allen crossed in the corner.  Just before halftime No. 8 Joe Allen burst through from good interplay between backs and forwards, taking the ball from a quick ruck, he was able to step round the last defender to score. Halftime 22pts – 0pts to the Blues.

 

After the break Nuneaton regrouped and Bedford were unable to find the fluidity of the first half.  Bedford had made a number of changes but they lacked the cohesion and concentration to put away their chances.  Joe Burton eventually scored in the corner after Bedford had pressed the Nuneaton line from a lineout near the corner.  The final score of the game came from a gutsy Nuneaton side when, after good pressure, Ben Glibert collected a cross field kick from fly half Tom Short to score under the posts, Short converted to make the final score 27pts – 7pts.

The Blues front row break away

This was a good performance in the 1st half by the Blues, but they need to learn to be more clinical and ruthless.  With a Nuneaton player in the sin bin in the second half Bedford should have been able to advance the score line but a combination of complacency from the Blues, and good defence from Nuneaton, kept them out, and Nuneaton won the second half by 7pts – 5pts.  As we look back at the first half of the season, however, there are some encouraging signs.  The squad have developed well individually and collectively.  A number of the squad have the potential to develop still further, and focus on their conditioning programmes over the next 2 – 3 months will determine if they can make the next step.

  

Bedford: Jordan McIntyre, Chris Locke, Sam Pacey, Joe Burton, Carl Sudiack, Jack Miccans, Shane Allen (capt), Joe Allen; Martin Watkins, Luke Radley; Tom Meller, Adam Martin, James Knight, David Kingsbury; Andrew John: Subs: Harry Roberts,  Anders Nilsson, Marcus Wale, Tom Armes, Tom Wilmore, Sam Foster, Anthony Fenner, David Graham:

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East Midlands Under 20s 13pts: Bedford Colts 37 pts:

Wednesday December 5th 2007:

 

Bedford put together a good performance to beat the East Midlands U20s by 37pts - 13pts.  The Blues brought in 3 “old boys” from last years squad; prop Tom Williams, last year’s captain, centre Jamie Russell and full back Peter Clarke.  Against a strong wind in the 1st half the Blues used pick and drive tactics to gain field position and went into half time one point behind.  With the wind in the 2nd half the Blues backs cut loose and scored 5 cracking tries to win by 37pts – 13pts.

East Mids started well and took the lead with a penalty from fly half Jack Wrigglesworth.  5 minutes later winger Ashley Harvey made a strong run to score, Wrigglesworth converted.  The Blues pack began to take control, gaining ground through pick and drive and great support play.  Good pressure defence forced a mistake from the East Mids midfield and centre James Knight pounced on the loose ball to score under the posts, and convert.  5 minutes later, from a position deep in their 22, the Blues drove the ball upfield and through 8 or 9 phases of support won a lineout in the East Mids 22.  The lineout was driven towards the line, and with East Mids expecting a forward attack, the Blues moved the ball wide to put full back Peter Clarke in for a try wide out on the left.  Wrigglesworth hit another penalty to make the half time score 13pts – 12pts to East Mids. 

With the wind in the 2nd half Bedford changed their game plan.  Fly half Luke Radley used the wind to gain position and the Blues began to put together some fine phases of play, with the pack dominating possession and forwards and backs linking well.  Knight scored when Radley cleared up bad ball and winger Duncan Taylor made good ground to put in Knight.  A quick penalty was taken for hooker Chris Locke to drive over the line.  5 minutes later Locke scored his 2nd try from a lineout drive.  With Blues backs always looking dangerous the Blues scored two great tries to close; No.8 Joe Allen made ground up the middle, Knight took the ball on and, with a neat pass, put winger David Kingsbury in for a try in the corner; centre Jamie Russell scored the final try when full back Andy John hit the line at pace, fed Knight who put in Russell to make the final score 37pts – 13pts to the Blues. 

The Blues dominated the game and showed how well they have developed following their tough November programme.  The pack was dominant with 2nd row Ed Slater controlling the lineout, flankers Shane Allen and Jack Miccans everywhere in attack and defence, and hooker Chris Locke, who carried the ball in the game more than most hookers do in a season, outstanding.  The back line put together some of their best moves of the season with James Knight and Duncan Taylor always looking dangerous.  The squad are beginning to show a better understanding of each other, and adapted their game plan as the game progressed. 

Bedford: Jordan McIntyre, Chris Locke, Tom Williams, Ed Slater, Tom Lenton, Jack Miccans, Shane Allen, Joe Allen; Martin Watkins, Luke Radley; Duncan Taylor, Jamie Russell, James Knight, Duncan Taylor; Peter Clarke:  Subs: Luke Levitt, James Wright, Harry Roberts, Carl Sudiack, Marcus Wale, David Kingsbury, Andrew John:

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Bedford Colts 0 pts: Leeds Carnegie 10 pts:

Saturday November 24th 2007:

  

Bedford Colts went down by 10pts to 0pts to a very good Leeds Carnegie side.  Bedford, missing three players on Midlands duty on Sunday, and playing with the wind, were 10 pts - 0 down at half time.  Turning around to face the wind Bedford increased the pace of the game and tried to put Leeds under pressure.  Bedford battled against the wind, and a good Leeds team, but were unable to score - the game ending at 10pts - 0 to Leeds.  A good game of rugby, and a deserved win for Leeds !

 

Leeds won the toss and opted to play against the wind in the first half, and took the lead with a well worked try from a lineout drive after 5 minutes.  The game was well balanced with both sides creating good opportunities, and both defences well organised.  Leeds scored their second try deep into injury time of the first half to turn around 10pts – 0 ahead.

 

Turning around to face the wind Bedford increased the pace of the game and tried to put Leeds under pressure.  The Leeds half backs controlled the game extremely well and drove Bedford back deep into their half with a well judged kicking game.  The Bedford pack had a great battle with their Leeds opposite numbers with No.8 Joe Burton winning good lineout ball, and the Bedford back row and second row winning some good turnover ball.  The half remained evenly balanced with neither side able to score, the game ending at 10pts - 0 to Leeds. 

      

This was the end of a tough 5 week programme for the Blues squad.  With losses against 3 of the RFU funded Academies (Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers and Leeds Tykes) and wins against Cambridge University U21s and Mansfield (in the cup) the squad have had lots of opportunity to test themselves against  top class opposition.  Whilst disappointed to have lost the game they need to recognise the improvement they have made over the last 5 weeks.  This was a game that they can take a lot of credit from.  The Blues pack competed well and the whole side developed good attacking phases of play, which only three or four U19 defences in the country would be able to cope with.  Unfortunately Leeds are one of them ! 

 

Commiserations go to Bedford full back, Steve Dachtler, who broke his leg in the first half.  Steve is recovering at home in plaster and hopes to be back at school next week.

  

Bedford: Jordan McIntyre, Chris Locke (capt), Sam Pacey, Joe Allen, Carl Sudiack, Jack Miccans, Shane Allen, Joe Burton; Martin Watkins, Luke Radley; Cory Hircock, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Sam Foster; Stephen Dachtler: Subs: Luke Levitt, James Wright, Harry Roberts, Michael Skinner, Jamie Wilkins, Tom Meller:

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Mansfield Colts 3 pts: Bedford Colts 19 pts:

Sunday November 18th 2007:

  

In "Artic" conditions, rain, sleet, and freezing cold, Bedford Colts controlled the game to beat Mansfield by 19pts - 3pts and go through to the 4th round of the National Colts Cup.  Mansfield took an early lead with a penalty, but the Blues forwards took hold of the game and never let go.  Three penalties by full back Adam Martin, and tries from centre James Knight and prop Jordan McIntyre put the Blues though to the last 32.

The game was played in appalling conditions which made handling difficult for both sides.  Mansfield started well and took the lead after 4 minutes with a well taken penalty.  The Bedford pack then began to take control and deprived Mansfield of the ball for long periods.  What ball Mansfield did gain they were pressurised by the Blues defence into hurried clearance kicks.  2 penalties from Blues full back, Martin, after 8 minutes and 15 minutes, put Bedford into the lead.  A forced clearance kick from Mansfield was taken by Blues scrum half, Martin Watkins, who fed Knight to score in the corner.  Bedford centres Duncan Taylor and James Knight, and winger Gareth Clarke, began to make inroads into the Mansfield defence, before Martin scored his third penalty to put 14pts – 3pts ahead at half time.

Bedford turned around at half time to face a strengthening wind and even poorer conditions.  The Blues pack began to keep the ball close and used pick and drive to good effect, pressurising the Mansfield line, but the last pass was spilled too often, and against solid defence from Mansfield, the Blues found it tough to score.  The only score of the second half was a close range try scored by Blues prop Jordan McIntyre to make the final score 19pts – 3pts to Bedford.  The most welcome sound of the afternoon was the whistle for full time to allow both squads to thaw out. 

Whilst not a pretty sight this was a match the Blues always had under control, playing the right tactics for the conditions.  They will find out their 4th Round opponents when the draw is done on Monday evening.

 

Bedford: Jordan McIntyre, Chris Locke (capt), Sam Pacey, Joe Burton, Tom Lenton, Jack Miccans, Shane Allen, Joe Allen; Martin Watkins, Luke Radley; Corey Hircock, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Adam Martin: Subs:  Luke Levitt, Harry Roberts, Carl Sudiack, Jamie Wilkins, David Kingsbury, Andrew John, Tom Meller:

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Cambridge University U21s 8pts: Bedford Colts 21 pts:

Saturday November 10th 2007:

Bedford Colts, with three U20 players and a mix of U19s and U18s, beat Cambridge University U21s by 21pts - 8pts at Grange Road.  After a physically demanding first half of rugby against older and bigger opponents the Blues were able to extend their narrow first half lead and claim a well deserved victory.

The game began at high pace and after a period of initial settling down from both teams it was Cambridge who claimed the first points with a well taken penalty from just inside the Blues half.  Whilst possession was relatively evenly spread throughout the first half, it was the Blues who always looked more dangerous with the ball in hand as they made numerous half breaks and applied large amounts of pressure inside the Cambridge half.  The pressure eventually showed when from a charged down kick Duncan Taylor was able to re-gather and score the Blues first try of the day, converted by winger Adam Martin.  Whilst this was the Blues only score in the first half the defensive effort displayed was a huge highlight as the bigger Cambridge team was often driven back over the advantage line and numerous turn over situations were created.

Turning with the wind behind them at the break the Blues were confident that if they could secure field position they could seal a victory and so it proved with Cambridge pinned inside their half for the first 20mins of the second spell.  The Blues were able to add two more tries both converted by Martin; one following some fine driving play by the forwards that saw No. 8 Joe Burton crash over; and the second coming from a well worked backline move that allowed fullback Peter Clarke to cross next to the posts.  Cambridge responded strongly in the last quarter and crossed for a well taken try in the dying moments of the match but this was a well deserved victory for the Blues.

This was the teams third demanding fixture in as many weeks following games against both Saints and Leicester and it is a credit to them that they were able to once again front up mentally and physically.

Bedford: Harry Roberts, Chris Locke (capt), Jordan McIntyre, Ed Slater, Jack Miccans, Joe Allen, Shane Allen, Joe Burton; Will Chudley, Luke Radley; Adam Martin, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, David Kingsbury; Peter Clarke: Subs:  Luke Levitt, Sam Pacey, Tom Lenton, Marcus Wale, Martin Watkins, Andrew John, Tom Meller:

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Bedford Colts 10 pts: Leicester Tigers 35 pts:

Saturday November 3rd 2007:

 

After a close first half the power of Leicester Tigers was too much for the Blues, and Tigers went on to a 35pts – 10pts win, in a very good game of rugby, at Russell Park on Saturday. This was the second game in a series of five very tough weeks for the Blues Academy.  With games against Saints last week, Leicester this week, Cambridge University U21s next Saturday and Leeds Tykes in three weeks time the Blues have set out to stretch and develop themselves against the best in the country.

 

Leicester took the lead after 10 mins when, after a series of forward drives, they worked an overlap on the right to score a converted try and go 7pts ahead.  Bedford fought straight back, and after the forwards had worked a good field position fly half Luke Radley took a well taken a drop goal.  Leicester kicked off long and the Blues worked the ball out of defence.  A great break from deep by full back Gareth Clarke, was taken on up the right wing by winger David Kingsbury, a quick ruck was won, the ball was taken on by hooker Chris Locke and scrum half Martin Watkins finished the move to put Bedford 10pts – 7pts ahead after 12 minutes.  Leicester fought back through their strong pack, and a series of driving mauls made ground, but the last ditch Bedford defence was good.  The Blues remained ahead until just before half time when Leicester found a gap, the Blues defence missed a tackle, and the Tigers to scored under the posts to make the score 14pts – 10pts at half time.

 

Leicester made a number of changes at half time and began to pressurise the Blues.  Three converted tries were scored by the Tigers in the second half, two by well taken trademark Leicester driving mauls.  Bedford, despite brave defence, had no answer for the power of the Tigers pack.

 

This was a game that the Bedford side can take a lot of credit from.  Leicester are one of the best of the RFU funded Premiership Academies in the country.  The Leicester forwards demonstrated power, linked to real skill, and deserved their win.  The Blues showed, especially in the first half, some real attacking skill, running from deep, with pace, and put together some of the best rugby they have played all season.  An away game against Cambridge University U21s next Saturday at Grange Road will test how well the Blues have learnt from the last two tough weeks.

 

Bedford: Jordan McIntyre, Chris Locke (capt), James Wright, Shane Allen, Carl Sudiack, Joe Allen, Jack Miccans, Joe Burton; Martin Watkins, Luke Radley; Cory Hircock, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, David Kingsbury; Gareth Clarke: Subs: Reece Winch, Harry Roberts, Marcus Wale, Jamie Wilkins, Andrew John, Stephen Dachtler:

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Northampton Saints 16 pts: Bedford Colts 0 pts:

Saturday October 27th 2007:

 

Bedford lost this hard fought game to local rivals Northampton Saints by 16pts – 0 at Franklins Gardens on Saturday.

 

Saints started well and pressurised the Blues’ line but the Bedford defence kept the score sheet clean.  Bedford fought back and began to pressurize the Saints line but the Saints defence held them out.  Bedford centre James Knight was unable to convert two penalty opportunities.  The first half was a very close affair, with neither side able to break through strong defence, and ended with no score to either side. 

Saints started the second half well and took a 3 point lead through a penalty from fly half Jordan Davies after 10 minutes.  Saints stretched their lead when the Bedford defence was sucked in for scrum half Harry Peck to dart from the 22m line to score by the posts.  Davies converted.  Bedford took the game back to Saints and spent time camped in the Saints 22 attacking the Saints line.  Bedford No.8 Joe Burton twice crossed the line and touched down but on both occasions the try was disallowed.  Saints came back at Bedford and added two further penalties from Davies to take their score to 16pts – 0.  Bedford attacked back and Saints defended well, conceding frequent penalties, and spending the last 10 minutes down to 14 as a result of a sin bin.

This was a game that Saints deserved to win, although Bedford were disappointed that they were unable to score.  With a number of players missing next week on East Midlands duty Bedford face a tough challenge against Leicester Tigers.

  

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Chris Locke (capt), James Wright, Tom Lenton, Joe Burton, Jack Miccans, Shane Allen, Joe Allen; David Graham, Luke Radley; Cory Hircock, Adam Martin, James Knight, David Kingsbury; Andrew John: Subs: Harry Roberts, Reece Winch, Sam Pacey, Carl Sudiack, Luke Levitt, Marcus Wale, Gareth Toothill, Tom Wilmore, Martin Watkins, Tom Meller

 

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Loughborough Univ Freshers 10 pts: Bedford Colts 11 pts:

Saturday October 13th 2007:

  

Against an older, and physically bigger Loughbororugh University Freshers side, Bedford Colts fought a hard earned win by 11pts – 10pts.

 

L’boro, with 3 Under 18 Internationals in their side started the game well with their big runners putting the Bedford defence under a lot of pressure.  After 15 minutes it looked as if L’boro would build a big score but Bedford’s defence was up to the task and time and time again the Bedford side took down the bigger L’boro runners.  Bedford made a couple of rare attacking plays, but it was a half of defensive focus for the Blues.  Loughborough kicked a penalty to lead 3pts – 0 at half time.

 

Bedford changed the game plan at half time and began to up the pace of the game.  Centre James Knight scored a penalty 5 minutes into the 2nd half to level the scores.  5 minutes later Bedford scored with the move of the game.  A fine kick from fly half Adam Martin, pinned L’boro into their own 22.  A good chase forced a poor clearance kick which was fielded on the half way line by flanker Jack Miccans, who moved the ball quickly.  Bedford attacked left and great support play from Knight, No. 8 Joe Allen and winger David Kingsbury, made ground for Miccans to finish the move with a fine try on the left hand corner.  A further penalty from Knight stretched the lead before L’boro put in a good attack to score a converted try to make the score 11pts – 10pts to Bedford with 20 minutes to go.  Both sides continued to attack well.  Both defences were well organised and there was no further score.

 

This was an excellent win for the Blues.  The 1st half defensive performance was sound and the pace of the game was upped in the second half.  Against an older and bigger side it was Bedford who looked the fitter and the more physical by the end, with back row forwards Allen and Miccans outstanding.

 

 Bedford: Jordan McIntyre, Chris Locke (capt), James Wright, Carl Sudiack, Joe Burton, Marcus Wale, Jack Miccans, Joe Allen; Martin Watkins, Adam Martin; Stephen Dachtler, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, David Kingsbury; Luke Radley: Subs: Harry Roberts, Luke Levitt, Sam Pacey, Tom Wilmore, Sam Foster:

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Moseley Colts 0 pts: Bedford Colts 26 pts:

Saturday September 29th 2007:

 

With a beautiful sunny afternoon, a Moseley pitch in great condition, and two teams who started the season well, the day was set for a keen contest.  Moseley’s September record showed three wins of 52-0, 60-0, and 84-0 and a narrow away loss to Leeds Tykes.  Bedford, with an easy win in the cup, and a narrow loss to Leinster last week, were also coming into form.  Bedford put together some good support play to win by 26pts – 0, however this was a game that Bedford should have won by considerably more. 

 

The Blues started the game badly when their kick off gifted Moseley the ball.  Moseley ran back at Bedford, and showed they could be dangerous.  They were unable to continue this as the Bedford forwards denied them the ball for long periods.  What ball Moseley did have they tried to attack Bedford with a series of high kicks, which Bedford coped with well, with Corey Hircock and Gareth Clarke fielding and counterattacking effectively.  Bedford put together a series of good attacks but were unable to finish them.  Bedford fly half Adam Martin was able to break the Moseley line, almost at will, but too often the final Blues pass was missed, or the ball was held for too long.  After 30 minutes Bedford’s reward for almost total dominance was only 3 penalties from centre James Knight.  It was not until just before half time that Bedford were able to cross the Moseley line when full back Clarke was too strong for the Moseley defence and scored to put Bedford 14pts – 0 up at halftime.

 

Moseley changed their game plan at half time and began to attack close with a series of driving mauls.  The Bedford defence held and Moseley could find no way through.  Bedford began to relax and played some good rugby in the 2nd half, with the forwards showing real skill with the ball in hand, the backs coming on to the ball at pace, with the Blues looking to offload the ball from the tackle and keep the game flowing.  Good approach work from the forwards led to centres Duncan Taylor and Knight combining to feed flanker Joe Allen who put hooker Reece Winch in for a real team try.  A great break by prop Geoff Lewin, taken on by Allen, saw the ball moved quickly by Taylor and Hircock to put Knight in for a try, which he converted.

 

The Blues said farewell to Lewin, who captained the side on his last appearance before setting off to Equador at the beginning of his gap year travels.  Whilst 26-0 is a good result, and some of the Bedford support play was excellent, Bedford need to learn to be more patient in attack and not to get frustrated when scores do not appear.  Nottingham and Loughborough University will offer tougher tests over the next two weeks.   

 

 

Bedford: Jordan McIntyre, Reece Winch, Geoff Lewin (capt), Jack Miccans, Carl Sudiack, Joe Allen, Jamie Wilkins, Joe Burton; David Graham, Adam Martin; Corey Hircock, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Sam Foster; Gareth Clarke: Subs: Harry Roberts, Luke Levitt, Sam Pacey, Tom Lenton, Marcus Wale, Gareth Toothill, Martin Watkins, Tom Meller, Stephen Dachtler:

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Bedford Colts 22 pts: Leinster 25pts:

Sunday September 23rd 2007:

  

A beautiful sunny afternoon, an immaculate pitch, and two good sides combined to produce a great game of rugby at Goldington Road, with Leinster gaining a narrow, but deserved, win in injury time, by 25pts – 22pts.

 

Bedford started the game well and pressurised Leinster with a good tackle by centre Duncan Taylor; the ball was spilled by Leinster, and centre James Knight kicked on, and won the chase to the touch down for the first score.  Bedford extended their lead when, at a 5m scrum, they took a heel against the head for No. 8 Joe Burton to pick up and drive over, Knight converted to put Bedford 12pts up.  Leinster came back into the game when a long 22m drop out by Bedford gave the ball away.  The Leinster full back, Michael Keating, gathered the ball and ran a good line, through innumerable Bedford missed tackles to score under the posts.  5 mins later Leinster narrowed the gap further when from good turnover ball won by the Blues in their 22 poor passing across a flat back line led to a knock on by Bedford.  Leinster won a good scrum and put right winger Neil Hanratty in the corner for a try.  Bedford came back and from a 5m lineout won good ball which they drove over the Leinster line, for a try by hooker Chris Locke, to put Bedford 17pts – 10pts ahead at half time.

     

Leinster narrowed the gap with a penalty after half time before they scored a repeat of one of their 1st half tries.  Another long 22 drop out, with a poorly organized chase from Bedford, allowed Leinster to counter attack.  Bedford missed tackles, and winger Gavin Green went in for a good try to put Leinster ahead for the first time by 18pts – 17pts, with 15 minutes to go.  Bedford fought back and scored, with a dummy run from Knight, and the ball moved quickly along the back line, for winger Gareth Clarke to score; 22pts – 18pts to Bedford.  Leinster kicked the restart long and Bedford were unable to clear their line.  A lineout to Leinster, followed by a series of forward drives, saw the Leinster captain and No.8, Michael Noonan, driven over for the winning try, converted by McKinley;  25pts – 22pts to Leinster.

 

This was a game that Bedford can learn from.  Mistakes, and a lack of concentration, allowed Leinster to score two of their tries.  Congratulations go to both sides for a great game of rugby; a high level of skill from both sides provided a really entertaining game.  We wish Leinster good luck as they go into the Irish Inter-Provincial Championship in October.  They open their campaign with their game against Munster in 10 days time. 

 

Bedford: James Wright, Chris Locke, Geoff Lewin, Joe Allen, Carl Sudiack, Shane Allen (capt), Jack Miccans, Joe Burton; David Graham, Luke Radley; David Kingsbury, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Adam Martin: Subs: Michael Skinner, Reece Winch, Jordan McIntyre, Tom Lenton, Anders Nilsson, Marcus Wale, Jamie Wilkins, Martin Watkins, Cory Hircock, Ollie Eaton:

 

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Lutterworth Colts 3 pts: Bedford Colts 66 pts:

Saturday September 15th 2007:

 

Bedford were too strong for a Lutterworth side who never gave in and won their 1st Round National Colts Cup tie by 66pts - 3.  A good all round team performance from Bedford included a personal contribution of 46 points (6 tries, 5 cons, 2 pens) from Blues’ centre James Knight. 

 

A determined and physically aggressive Lutterworth team met the Blues on their home pitch in fine sunny conditions with a large number of home team supporters behind them.  Bedford put together a good team performance with the tight five laying the ground work at set phase, allowing the Bedford back row to run at the Lutterworth team, creating space for the backs.   Centre James Knight collected a hat-trick before halftime.  Bedford led at half time by 32pts – 3pts.

 

Bedford’s superior fitness showed its worth in the second spell when in hot conditions the Blues dominated.  Good approach work from all the team allowed James Knight to score a total of six tries and No 8 Joe Burton to collect a hat trick of tries.  New boy, Marcus Wale from St. Neots, also scored.  Bedford kept their own try line intact and finished the game 66pts – 3 pts winners.

 

The team will take confidence out of this game, and whilst this was a good performance, there are much tougher games to come that will stretch the squad more.  They need to learn to be more ruthless in clearing out the contact area, and in making the killing scores.  Leinster next week will present a far tougher challenge.

  

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Chris Locke, Geoff Lewin, Shane Allen (capt), Carl Sudiack, Joe Allen, Jack Miccans, Joe Burton; David Graham, Luke Radley; Sam Foster, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Adam Martin: Subs: Reece Winch, Jordan McIntyre, Marcus Wale, Jamie Wilkins, Tom Meller, Martin Watkins, David Kingsbury:

 

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Bedford Colts 8 pts: Leicester 36pts:

Monday September 10th 2007:

  

With the Blues game against the RAF cancelled, and Leicester’s game against Worcester also cancelled, the Blues and the Tigers Academies got together for a training game at Goldington Road. The game was played in four quarters to allow both squads to rotate players.

 

Bedford took the lead with a penalty from James Knight, but Leicester were quick to hit back when they outflanked Bedford to score and led after the 1st quarter by 5pts – 3pts.  Leicester scored two further tries in the 2nd quarter; a lineout drive, and a dive on a loose ball, to lead at half time by 15pts 3pts.

 

The Tigers moved further ahead with a pick and drive try from their No. 8 at a scrum on the Bedford line.  The Blues forwards fought back with a series of drives to create space for full back Peter Clarke to score in the corner; 22pts – 8pts to Leicester.  The Tigers scored two further tries; a forward pick and drive, and a good individual try from the Leicester fly half, to make the final score 36pts – 8pts to Leicester.   

 

The Tigers showed why they are one of the top Academies in England with some sharp running, and fast simple passing, and gave the Blues the target for the level they need to achieve.

 

Bedford: James Wright, Reecs Winch, Geoff Lewin, Ed Slater, Joe Allen, Tom Meller, Shane Allen (capt), Joe Burton; Will Chudley, Luke Radley; Sam Foster, Jamie Russell, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Peter Clarke: Subs: Michael Skinner, Joe Roberts, Harry Roberts, Sam Pacey, Jordan McIntyre, Marcus Wale, David Graham, Adam Martin, David Kingsbury, Stephen Dachtler, Cory Hircock:

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Nuneaton Colts 3 pts: Bedford Colts 20 pts:
Saturday September 1st 2007:

A new look Bedford side, playing their 1st game since their National Cup Final win in May, were too strong for a good Nuneaton side, winning a game played in three 25min periods by 20 pts – 3. Bedford, with only 4 players remaining from their Cup Final squad, have been rebuilding during the summer.

Nuneaton, who had scored 56 points against Fylde last week in their first game of the season, were tough opponents for the Blues to meet in their first game. Bedford had a good start when from a turnover ball, won by Blues flanker Jack Miccans, Bedford were given a penalty which was kicked against the wind by centre James Knight to put Bedford 3pts – 0 ahead. Nuneaton began to use the wind to their advantage to pressurise Bedford. The Blues defence was solid and Nuneaton could find no way past Bedford.

The second period saw Bedford beginning to use the wind well and fly half Andrew John kicked well for territory and began to get the Blues back line going. Knight kicked another penalty to put Bedford 6pts up and shortly after, following great pressure in defence from the Blues, Nuneaton lost the ball, and Blues centre Gareth Clarke kicked ahead, gathered the ball and scored under the posts, Knight converted. Knight was instrumental in the 2nd try when he made a break from inside his own half, beat two men and then gave a simple pass inside to winger Cory Hircock to score under the posts. Knight converted and Bedford were 20pts – 0 ahead.

The third period had Bedford again facing the wind and all of the Bedford squad getting an outing. Despite a number of changes the Blues defence was excellent and frequently stopped Nuneaton in their tracks. There was no further score other than a drop goal from the Nuneaton open side flanker.

There were lots of lessons to take away from the game. The Blues need to develop more continuity in attack, being patient in developing phases, and the lineout needs a lot of work. The Blues scrummaging and contact skills were good and the defence was excellent. Nuneaton gave the Blues a real test and a number of the new Bedford youngsters had to step up a level to cope with the Nuneaton intensity, and, in doing so, showed real potential for the future.

The Academy play their next game, against the RAF U23 side at Goldington Road, next Sunday, September 9th, KO 2 pm. The RAF will be using the game as a warm up for the Inter-Services Championshp.

Bedford: Michael Skinner, Chris Locke (capt), Geoff Lewin, Joe Allenn, Carl Sudiack, Jack Miccans, Jamie Wilkins, Joe Burton; Tom Wilmore, Luke Radley; Sam Foster, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Andrew John: Subs: Harry Roberts, Reece Winch, Joe Roberts, Sam Pacey, Marcus Wale, David Graham, Adam Martin, Cory Hircock, Courtney Dodds, Stephen Dachtler, Ollie Eaton, Ollie Taylor:

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