Bedford Blues v Plymouth Albion

Saturday, 7 February, 2015 - 15:00
1st XV Championship
Won 38-8

Bedford Blues put the past two results well and truly behind them as they ran in five tries during a 38-8 win over Plymouth Albion on Saturday afternoon.

A brace for Mike Le Bourgeois along with one apiece for Phil Boulton, Steffan Jones and Paul Tupai plus a 100 percent kicking game from James Pritchard ensured that the Blues faithful went home cold but with big smiles on their faces.

Bedford came firing out of the blocks and looked to get a real hold on the game in the early exchanges but they couldn’t turn the possession into points. Albion had the first kickable penalty in the third minute but Lawrence Rayner’s effort fell just short of the posts.

Mike Howard pinched an early lineout which led to a fine break from Joe Vandermolen with Justin Blanchet in support who then found Darryl Veenendaal but a cover tackle stopped the Blues in their tracks.

Two yellow cards followed in quick succession. Firstly, Albion captain Declan Cusack was binned and five minutes later he was followed by Tom Fidler. 

Bedford tried to capitalise on the numerical advantage but something just wasn’t quite clicking early on. Cusack returned and Albion were enjoying territory in the Blues 22 when Harry Wells snaffled the ball and went on a superb run from his own 22 to the oppositions. The defence finally caught up with him, but the lock set up the ruck and the ball was fed out to Le Bourgeois who crossed the line with Pritchard converting.

Rayner got the score board rolling for Albion with a well struck penalty in the 29th minute after Bedford were pinged for not releasing the tackle but the Blues went straight on the attack to score a second. Wells found himself out on the left wing and hurtled down it before passing to Pritchard who quickly popped the ball to Le Bourgeois as tackles came in giving the centre his second of the game with Pritchard again converting.

Momentum was with Bedford and Pat Tapley looked to turn the gas on moments after the restart but the ref pulled him back after the pass he received was judged to have gone forward.

The half ended with Albion looking to get their opening try. Bedford gave a penalty away which was sent deep into their 22 and as the clock ticked down, Albion had plans of sticking the lineout ball up their jersey and trundling over. Sadly for the visitors, they ended up crossing in the build-up and Bedford cleared their line before the half ended.

After the break, Pritchard added three more points when Albion were guilty of crossing for a second time. 

The Blues third try came in the 52nd minute and it was one to savour. Bedford were enjoying plenty of possession and playing some nice pick-and-go rugby which resulted in Nick Fenton-Wells spotting space ahead of him and galloping forward before playing an almost basketball-esq lob to Tapley who quickly flipped the ball into the arms of the on-rushing prop who went over for his first of the season. Pritchard then extended the lead to 24-3 with his fourth successful kick of the day.

Albion weren’t going down without a fight though and the introduction of on-loan hooker Tom Cowan-Dickie made quite a difference. The Exeter man was disrupting the ruck and helped his side win a penalty which was sent into the Blues 22. A well-worked lineout was executed and the ball went to Sam Matavesi who bundled his way over but Rayner could not convert.

Bedford weren’t going to let that try ruin their day though and they immediately set about looking for a fourth try which they wrapped up in the 76th minute. Albion were defending for their lives following a Viliami Hakalo surging run and then they gave away a penalty five metres away from their try line. Steffan Jones spotted a gap and took the quick penalty before dotting down to bag the bonus point and Pritchard converted for 31-8.

There was still time for one more try and it turned out to be a tenth of the season for Tupai. As the clock ticked down, the Blues put a penalty to touch before the lineout was collected and the forwards rumbled over with the 40 year old coming up with the ball. All that was left was for Pritchard to convert and the referee to blow his whistle.

COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

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Next Home Match

Friday 24th November
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
7.45pm

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Photography

See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at

frontrow.photium.com