Bedford Blues v Yorkshire Carnegie

Saturday, 7 November, 2015 - 15:00
1st XV Championship
Won 22-21

It was a case of déjà vu, or should that be déjà Blues, on Saturday afternoon as Steffan Jones kicked a 50 odd metre penalty in the final minute of the game, just as he did at Ealing a fortnight ago, to give Bedford Blues a huge 22-21 victory over Yorkshire Carnegie at Goldington Road.

What is even more remarkable though, is that 20 minutes earlier the Blues were trailing by 21 points and the visitors were looking really rather comfortable. Three tries in 17 minutes from Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, Jones and George Perkins soon turned that around with Myles Dorrian and Jake Sharp both converting one before Jones pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat for a second game in a row to steal victory.

While the win may have gone Bedford’s way, it was the visitors who started in fine fashion as they used the slope and the wind to their advantage and took control early on. Carnegie’s large pack were matched in the scrum by the Blues, but when a penalty went to touch, there was only one outcome as the powerful maul bundled over with Lee Imiolek coming up with the ball and Harry Leonard converting in the 14th minute.

It was end to end stuff a few moments later when Imiolek almost found a way through for a second but he spilt the ball close to the Blues line. Bedford won it back and Dean Adamson kicked ahead and chased hard before earning his team a penalty which went to touch. The Blues driving maul kicked into gear and rumbled on before being illegally stopped by Mike Myerscough who was sin-binned. Sadly, the Blues couldn’t repeat the effort as the next attacked ended with a knock on.

Carnegie defended really well while a man light despite two good attacks from the Blues who tried to punch a hole through the white wall but twice the ball slipped out of hand. Bedford then conceded a soft penalty allowing Carnegie to clear and once back to a full compliment they scored again.

Bedford’s discipline let them down and Carnegie went to touch close to the Blues try line and again drove forward. This time, the ref spotted an infringement and ran under the posts awarding the penalty try before sending Josh Buggea to the bin. Leonard converted again to make it 0-14 after half an hour.

The Blues had to dig deep in the final ten minutes before the break and they found themselves pinned back through some fine kicking by Carnegie hooker Jack Walker whose grubber found touch five metres from the Bedford try line. The Blues took the ball, but the kick was charged down but thankfully trickled out of the dead ball area.

Bedford had their first attempt for points on the stroke of half time when Carnegie were penalised at the breakdown. Despite a blustery wind in his face, Jones called for the tee but his effort hung in the air and fell to Leonard who put the ball out as he ref blew his whistle.

A big second half was needed but just eight minutes after the restart, the Blues were 21-0 behind. Bedford had enjoyed most of the possession but Carnegie had nicked the ball and found themselves deep in the Blues 22. Time suddenly stood still and replacement Joel Hodgson was shown far too much room as he skipped over the line to score with Leonard adding the extras.

Bedford rang the changes and the replacements had the desired effect as the team was given a real boost. The Blues started top control possession and kicked sensibly to put pressure on the Carnegie defence.

The breakthrough finally came in the 61st minute as the Blues surged forward with wave after wave of attack before Parilli-Ocampo forced his way over from close range with Dorrian chipping over the extras.

The wind was in Bedford’s sails and they looked to run at every opportunity while picking up a number of penalties and Carnegie were down to 14 for the final ten minutes when Jonah Holmes was sin binned for killing the ball. Bedford took full advantage as they went quick from the penalty, passed the ball down the line and Jones crossed but Sharp’s conversion hit the upright.

At 12-21 it was back into the Blues half and Carnegie earned a very kickable penalty but decided to go for the try bonus instead. They soon regretted that decision though as their patient attack ended with a knock on. 

The resulting scrum was all over the place and the ball popped out on Carnegie’s side only for Parilli-Ocampo to time his dive to perfection to scoop in the open ball. With possession in hand, Perkins hoofed the ball upfield with Jordan Burns hurtling past him. The Carnegie defence fluffed the take in and the ball bounced just right for Burns to slap it into Perkins path and the winger ran under the posts with Sharp dropping the conversion to make it 19-21 with a couple of minutes on the clock.

Carnegie weren’t giving in though and after the restart was won back they started running the clock down. Credit to Bedford though, they crashed into every tackle and challenged every ruck before referee Mr O’Grady blew his whistle as the visitors clung onto the ball. 

With 50 metres and an angle against it was a massive kick, but Jones stood up confidently and sent the crowd wild as he slotted the kick perfectly. There was still time for a restart and Goldington Road collectively held it’s breath as Joel Conlon swung his boot at the ball to kick it to touch from the centre of the field. It didn’t quite make it, but did drop into James Pritchard’s hands and he was pushed/pulled/bundled/thrown over the line and the Blues secured the victory.

Bedford head to Wales next weekend as this season’s British and Irish Cup gets underway against a Scarlets Select team. 

COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

Click HERE to see more of Nigel Rudgard's images from the game and the season.

Next Home Match

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

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See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at

frontrow.photium.com