Jersey v Bedford Blues

Saturday, 14 February, 2015 - 15:00
1st XV Championship
Lost 17-3

Bedford's hopes of a play-off place were dealt a major blow after two tries either side of half-time left Jersey as the team more likely to be chasing down the top four, writes Bedfordshire on Sunday.

The Channel Islanders leapfrogged the visiting Blues thanks to their win with Mike Rayer’s men left to lament on their third Championship defeat in four matches against their hosts.

Having shared six tries and three yellow cards in their last meeting, when Bedford recorded a narrow 25-20 win at Goldington Road, this game was always going to be a low scoring affair with the weather playing more than a significant part in the outcome.

A pre-game deluge always meant that this match would become an attritional battle for the forwards and it was the home side that took the early initiative on a slippery surface at St Peter.

Ironically, the only true Jerseyman was wearing a Blues shirt, and Michael Le Bourgeois did not enjoy his second return back to the club where he first signed professional forms, enduring a difficult day on a more than tricky pitch.

Jersey, playing with the wind, turned down a brace of kickable penalties early on, choosing to fire it into the corners, but desperate defending by the Blues on their own try line and Jersey’s handling errors kept the game scoreless.

In fact it was Bedford who opened the scoring on 20 minutes. James Pritchard’s penalty from a Jersey mistake looked like being the only score of the half, until an excellent cross field move by the Islanders left Drew Locke to beat two defenders and score his side’s first try in the corner.

A superb touchline conversion by Aaron Penberthy was the final action of the half.

It was Jersey who again started the second half the stronger, with Bedford dropping the kick off.

The Blues did well to keep out the home side’s initial drive, held up over the line, but moments later from more sustained Jersey pressure the second try arrived.

Pierce Phillips barrelled over to give the Islanders daylight and a superb conversion struck by Penberthy extended the lead, and Bedford were staring at a costly defeat.

It was not until the hour mark that Bedford created some sustained pressure on the Jersey line, but determined defending and handling errors kept them out.

As the game reached its conclusion, the Blues had no answer to Jersey’s powerful forward play, and it was the home side who were more likely to score again rather than Bedford getting a consolation.

Jersey could only muster a penalty from Penberthy as they extended their unbeaten run to four matches, leapfrogging Bedford into sixth in the league table in the process. Blues drop to seventh and hopes of a top four finish are fading quickly.

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

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