Bristol v Bedford Blues (PO2)

Sunday, 8 May, 2016 - 15:15
1st XV Play Off
Lost 45-19

In the end, it just wasn't to be as Bristol put in another big performance to ensure that it was them and not Bedford Blues who will be in the Greene King IPA Championship Final against Doncaster Knights.

The Blues certainly gave their all, as they have throughout the season, but the host team proved too strong as they ran in six tries to Bedford's three which were courtesy of a Penalty try, Dean Adamson and Paul Tupai.

Speaking after the game, Blues skipper Michael Le Bourgeois said: "It was always going to be a tough ask to come down here and cause an upset but we love that sort of challenge. We tested Bristol in plenty of areas today and the lads put their heart into it - what more can you ask?

"We haven't enjoyed a great couple of years but our defence has sorted itself out and we still love to throw the ball around. We'll enjoy the summer, come back again next season and do all we can to improve once again."

Things got off to an interesting start with the TMO being called into action within the first minute when Bedford collected the kick-off and passed the ball to Josh Buggea who seemed certain to score but Tom Varndell covered well and the TV official said no try was scored.

Bristol had received their warning and went straight on the attack with their forwards carrying well before Martin Roberts spotted a gap and dotted down with Callum Sheedy adding the extras.

Three minutes later and the hosts had doubled their lead when David Lemi made a fine break before using his support with the ball coming to Nick Koster who crossed the line with Sheedy slotting the extras once again.

Ill-discipline then gave the Blues the advantage as first Sheedy and then Koster saw yellow with the Blues being awarded a penalty try and Jake Sharp slotting the conversion.

Bedford started to enjoy possession and in the 20th minute, the scores were levelled when quick ball arrived in Paul Tupai's hand and he popped it to Dean Adamson who glided over with Sharp converting once more.

But Bristol fired back with another surge into the Blues 22 before Roberts repeated his earlier move to score and Sheedy - who had just returned to the pitch - slotted the extras.

Bristol were in the ascendancy with over 12,000 fans in attendance and they scored a fourth try in the 30th minute when a fine Lemi break set the platform once more before Ben Mosses exchanged passes with Ben Glynn to score and Sheedy made it 28-14. 

Sheedy slotted a penalty with a few minutes left in the half, but Bedford were to finish on top as they moved close to Bristol's line and then earned a penalty from a scrum. With no time for a lineout, Camilo Parilli-Ocampo took the tap and go to set up a maul and the Blues surged over with Tupai dotting down but Sharp's conversion from wide right hit the upright.

With the score at 31-19, the second period was a tense affair with neither side wanting to give an inch. Bristol were in the ref's bad book again as Luke Arscott was carded for a deliberate knock on, but this time the Blues couldn't make the extra man count.

Changes came for both sides but there was little room between the two. Henry Taylor and George Perkins both had great attempts but good defence stopped any promising attack.

It took until the 74th minute for a score to arrive and it came the way of Bristol following a super break from Matthew Morgan who had Mosses in support with the move finished off by Tom Varndell with Sheedy converting.

Bedford's afternoon was compounded in the 77th minute when Andy Uren scooped in a short pass and hurtled upfield. Pat Tapley gave chase and almost collared his man, but the replacement had enough strength to carry on and dot down with Sheedy converting once more to wrap up the win 45-19.

Thank you to each and every Bedford Blues fan who has supported us this season. No matter what the result today, it has been a wonderful campaign and everyone at the club really appreciates your efforts. We'll enjoy the summer and look forward to the 2016/17 Greene King IPA Championship.

COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

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