After a run of 12 wins stretching back to October, it was unlucky 13 for the Blues Academy away at Loughborough University on Saturday.  With the Blues original opponents, Loughborough University Freshers, playing England Counties U18s in a training game, the Blues faced an older students side with players mainly from the 2nd and 3rd year, who were 2 – 3 years older than the Blues squad.  The Blues took a narrow, but deserved, lead of 10pts - 8 at half time, but performance dropped off in the second half as they went down to a 32pts – 10 loss to the older students side.

Loughborough took the lead after 10 minutes with a penalty from centre Will Bishop.  They extended this 10 minutes later with a try from ex-Blues Academy 2nd row, Seb Clarke.  Bedford began to exert control up front with the Blues front row getting on top of their older opponents.  It was a strong scrum that led to the Blues first score, with a break from No. 8 Zach Scott-Gray feeding scrum half Dylan Leney who put winger Luke Hibberd in for a try in the corner.  Bedford took the lead just before half time with a 5m lineout, a well worked drive, and a try for flanker Callum Strachan, to put the Blues ahead by 10pts – 8 at half time.

The second half was a different affair, with the physicality of the older students beginning to tell.  Loughborough scored from a well-executed lineout drive to go 13pts – 10 ahead after 10 minutes.  A few minutes later a kick out of defence by the Blues was well taken on half way by the students’ full back, who took a good line to beat the Bedford defence to score.  With changes made in the Blues pack Loughborough began to get some parity in the set scrum, and were rewarded with a push over try, and conversion by Bishop, to go 25pts – 10 ahead.  The students finished off a good half for them with a converted try to make the final score 32pts -10.


Bedford Academy Director Denis Ormesher said …. “We did well in the first half with our set scrum putting the students under pressure.  We coped well with the physicality of the older students in the contact zone, and deserved the narrow lead at half time.”


“Unfortunately our performance dropped off in the second half and we allowed the students to get on top.  This should give us some good lessons for the future.”    


Bedford:  Josh Waller, Ben Wilkinson,  Hayden King, Josh Fadden, Sam Copeland, Jacob Moody, Callum Strachan, Zach Scott-Gray; Dylan Leney, Chris Easton (capt); Luke Hibberd , Cameron Gregory-Ring, Nico Defeo, Jack Stapley;  Ben Meaden:  Replacements: Michael Bond, Liam Appleton, Charley Robinson, Olly Venni, Roddy Giles, Will Foster, Cameron Clarke.

Photos: ©bgrphotography

Next Home Match

Friday 1st March
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road