Bedford Blues v Moseley
Bedford Blues got their Championship campaign off to a winning start after defeating Moseley 50-6 at Goldington Road this afternoon, writes Michael Hann.
On a perfect afternoon for rugby, the Blues ran in three first half tries including two from Neil Cochrane that helped them on their way.
Bedford continued their dominance after half time as Gregor Gillanders, Luke Baldwin and a Ben Ransom double secured a convincing win.
The Blues included new signings James Stephenson and Ben Gulliver in their starting line-up while Joe Vandermolen took his place on the bench.
Having not beaten Bedford in the Championship since 2006 it was the away side who enjoyed good early pressure.
Moseley had the Blues on the back foot in the opening 10 minutes and Charlie Hayter was guilty of missing an easy chance as he cut through the Blues defence only to knock the ball forward on the line.
The visitors had another chance to get the first points of the game when Anders Mogenson was one-on-one with Stephenson, but the Blues winger made an excellent last ditch tackle to keep the scores level.
Bedford made them pay moments later when they won a penalty just under the Moseley posts that James Pritchard converted to put the home side in front.
It was now the Blues that were enjoying most of the possession and Josh Bassett was unlucky not to finish off Pritchard’s break when he was denied by Simon Hunt just metres before the line.
Bedford did not have to wait too much longer for their try. A lineout on the Moseley five metre line resulted in a powerful Blues maul and Cochrane touched down.
The Blues had stepped things up a gear and Josh Bassett was the next man to score as he capitalised on a good passing move and raced down the wing, away from the oncoming Hunt who this time could not catch him.
Pritchard converted and the Blues had given themselves a healthy lead.
Moseley did register their first points of the match when they won a penalty that Ollie Thomas duly converted.
The home side were not going to let Moseley back into the match and extended their lead when Cochrane scored his second of the game.
In a similar move to his first, the Blues forwards were imperious at the lineout and that enabled Cochrane to take the ball over the line in the maul.
Moseley did add the final points of the first half when Thomas scored his second penalty but the Blues went into the half time break with a 22-6 lead.
The home side could not have asked for a better start to the second half when they scored their fourth try of the match just after the restart.
A fumble from Jake Sharp’s kick saw Gregor Gillanders quickest to the loose ball and he took it over the line.
Scrum half Baldwin was the next man to get on the scoresheet as the Blues won a Moseley line out and hit them with a quick break that Baldwin made the most of.
The hosts hould have extended their lead further when Pritchard and Stephenson combined to break clear but the Moseley defence managed to turn the ball over, while Pritchard was sent to the sin bin after stopping a quick tap and go penalty.
Moseley could not take advantage of the extra man and they conceded another try after Sacha Harding chipped the ball over the their backline for substitute Ransom to latch on to.
Pritchard, now back on the field, converted the difficult kick from the touchline.
Ransom got his second of the game as the clocked ticked down. The Blues were working the ball well in the centre of the field before switching it wide to Ransom who went over.
Pritchard got his sixth conversion of the match and rounded off an excellent Blues display.
Blues: Dan Seal (Ben Cooper 40), Neil Cochrane (Scott Spurling 54), Phil Boulton, Ben Gulliver, Alex Rae (Mike Howard 40), Gregor Gillanders, Sacha Harding, Don Barrell Joe Vandermolen (67), Luke Baldwin (Darryl Veenendaal 60), Jake Sharp (Ian Vass 67), Josh Bassett, Henry Staff, Brendan Burke (Ben Ransom 54), James Stephenson, James Pritchard (C).
Scorers: T: Cochrane (2), Bassett, Gillanders, Baldwin, Ransom (2). C: Pritchard (6). P: Pritchard.
Moseley: Ethan Waller, Adam Caves (Sam Wilkes 54), Craig Voisey (Charles Meddick 74), Addison Lockley, (Oliver Robinson 47), Liam Mather, Neil Mason, Ben Pienaar (C), Ben Pons, Sam Brown (Alex Day 55), Glyn Hughes Brad Davies 77), Anders Morgenson, Charlie Hayter, Anthony Carter, Simon Hunt, Ollie Thomas (Caolan Ryan 77). Replacements not used: Matt Lowcock.
Scorers: P: Thomas (2)
Referee: John Meredith
Touch Judges: Marcus Caton, Roger Baileff