Goldington Road was bathed in sunshine for the Blues final match of the season. Jersey were incredibly fired up as they would face relegation if they did not win, it was going to be a tough contest! The Visitors started the game with an early 3-15 lead thanks to tries by James Voss and Nick Griffiths, one successfully converted by Aaron Penberthy, also scoring the earlier penalty. Bedford are nothing if not determined, so after a few close attempts they came back with a brilliant try by Harry Wells, and a conversion by James Pritchard. With Ryan Hodson from Jersey sin binned, Bedford dominated with an impressive try by Ollie Dodge, which was then converted once again by Pritchard, giving Bedford the lead for the first time in the match.

Jersey were consistently strong in the scrum throughout the match, even when down to 14 men, which lead to a penalty helping them edge back in front by a point. Minutes later a try, also successfully converted, left Jersey leading 17-25 at half-time.

Jersey began the second-half with an early penalty to stretch their lead further, but that did not go unanswered as Bedford came back very quickly with a great try from Brendan Burke, once again skilfully converted by Pritchard.

The visitors, after scoring a penalty, applied a lot of pressure, especially in the scrum, but the Blues found a gap and former Jersey man Michael le Bourgeois scored an excellent try, once converted by  Pritchard the scores were level at 31-31.

Jersey knew that a draw was not enough to keep them in the Championship so they continued to fight back resulting in a penalty try; then converted to give them a 21-38 lead. Then with only two minutes left on the clock Jersey’s Penberthy scored a penalty. Despite Bedford’s best efforts they were the last points of the match, the final score was 31-41, not quite the end to the season the Blues had hoped for.

That result was not quite the perfect send off for Sacha Harding and Brendan Burke, both Blues legends playing their last match for the club. Sacha captained his 200th appearance before retiring from rugby and Brendan scored a great try in his final match before taking up a role in coaching. The match may not have been the perfect finale to their playing careers, but there was still a great farewell from all of the spectators at Goldington Road. 

Judith Tarrant

Next Home Match

Saturday 18th August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road