Esher U21 v Bedford Blues Academy U19
The Blues Academy made their first away trip of the season and returned with a 22pts – 0 win over an older Esher U21 XV. Ahead by 17pts – 0 at half time the Blues had to dig deep in the final quarter to keep out an Esher side who grew in confidence as the game progressed.
Bedford took the lead after 15 minutes when a break from inside his own half by winger Eric Edwin, put scrum half Lewis Dennett, up in support, in for a try; fly half Cameron Gregory-Ring converted. The Blues stretched their lead 5 minutes later when a clean scrum was won inside the Blues half on the left hand side; the ball was moved across the back line for Edwin, who was stopped close to the line, to offload to full back Toby White who scored in the corner. The best try of the game came just before half time. Pressure from Bedford won them a lineout 5 meters out on the left; the long throw was won cleanly off the top and the backs moved the ball wide to the right; the ball was won quickly and moved back to the left where the Blues had an overlap for centre Stuart Livesey to score to give the Blues a 17pts – 0 lead at half time.
Esher fought back after half time and it was 20 minutes before the Blues scored their final try. A lineout of the left was moved wide for Edwin to score in the right hand corner. Esher began to put together some good attacks and the Blues had to dig deep to defend their line. Flanker Harry Agnew, who had a fine game, saved a certain try when he covered across the width of the pitch to stop the winger, but was sent to the sin bin for not releasing and the Blues had to hold out with 14 men. The last 10 minutes saw some dogged defence from the Blues to keep the score to nil.
Blues Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … “This was an encouraging performance. We had a few injuries during the week, and with some players not available, we made a few changes this week.”
“As ever we learnt a lot. There are lots of areas of our game that we need to improve on before we face some of the tougher fixtures we have coming up. However we are still in August and we are pleased with how well the squad has come together over the summer, and we have a long season ahead of us. Some of the tries we scored today were well executed and the defensive performance in the last 15 minutes was great to see. Sometimes when the game is won it is easy to relax and concede a score. It was great to see that the boys did not relax, they dug deep and showed real character and pride to defend to keep the score to nil.”
“Games against older sides teach them a lot. We have another tough game next week when we play a Cambridge U21 XV, next Saturday at Goldington Road, KO 2pm.”
Bedford: Liam Appleton, Ben Wilkinson, Hayden King, Alex Hales, Sam Copeland, Joe Brock (capt), Harry Agnew, Josh Fadden; Lewis Dennett, Cameron Gregory-Ring; Eric Edwin, Stuart Livesey, Cameron Clarke, Jack Stapley; Toby White: Replacements: Roin Naseri, Ben Ibrahim, Callum Strachan, Garth Spencer, Dylan Leney, Michael Phillips, Scott Lyle, Luke Hibberd:
Photos ... ©bgrphotography