Bedford Academy U19 v Loughborough Univ U21
After weeks of disruption due to the weather, and a number of cancelled games, the Blues Academy returned to action with a well deserved win against the Loughborough University U21 XV. Bedford built a 22pts - 7 lead playing up the slope in the first half. The students raised the tempo in the second half to score two further tries but the Blues matched them with two of their own to end as winners by 32pts - 17.
Bedford has a great start when from the L'boro kick off they fielded the ball in their own 22, kicked out of defence and pressurised the students, before full back George Elliott and second row Brad Scharff linked to put winger Keano van Dieman in for a try in the corner after 2 minutes. The Blues extended their lead when, after 3 - 4 phases of play, van Dieman fed Elliott for a try in the opposite corner; fly half Dan Lewis converted and the Blues went 12pts ahead. L'boro fought back into the Blues territory but the Blues defence held. Lewis extended the lead with a penalty after 25 minutes. The students hit back straight from the kick off when they made good ground for a try by centre Moss Rogers, converted by fly half Tom Humberstone. Bedford had the final say of the half when, from a set scrum, they worked a back row move and some good hands from the backs saw centre Dan Hope feed van Dieman for a try; Lewis converted and the Blues went into half time 22pts - 7 ahead.
The students, coached by ex-Blues Academy centre Felix Streeton, upped the tempo in the second half, with Bedford slow to respond. Scrum half Sam Pointon scored a good blind side try after 20 minutes, before Eliott broke out of his own 22 to score for the Blues to make the score 27pts - 12. L'boro again came back and Blues prop, Ben Ibrahim, on loan to L'boro for the game, scored wide on the left. Elliot had the last say with his third try to take the Blues final score to 32pts - 17.
Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said .... "After a six week break from playing the guys were all raring to go. We looked a bit rusty at times but we needed the game. We lost our rhythm a little after half time when we made a lot of substitutions, but it was important to give as many players as possible some game time to help regain match fitness. We were pleased with the way the boys responded to the Loughborough pressure in the second half, and when we played a simple game we performed well. A number of the guys coming off the bench made a real impact when they settled in and have given us some tough selection decisions to make."
"We have a three day turnaround before what will be a tough physical game on Wednesday against Cambridge U21 XV."
"The best result of the day however was the news that Academy Head Coach James Hinkins (Hinks) and his wife Clare had their second baby, a boy, safely in the early hours of Sunday morning. Clare and the new arrival are well - Hinks is shell shocked !"
Bedford: Will Dyer, Josh Taylor (capt), Connor Adams, Ben Patterson, Brad Scharff, Kennet O’Neill, Reece Lane, Joss Morgan; Kieran Duffin (v.capt), Dan Lewis; Keano van Dieman, Michael Phillips, Dan Hope, Luke Hibberd; George Elliott: Replacements: Joe Foreman, Tom Duggan, Hayden King, Matt Norfolk-Clarke, Zak Farrance, Dan Martin, Lennie Bush, Cameron Gregory-Ring, Eric Edwin, Dylan van Dieman, Ryan Brett-Williams, Scott Lyle: