Bedford completed their pre-season fixtures with a hard fought victory over a dogged Blackheath side who certainly weren't going to let the Blues have everything their own any.

Bedford took a two try lead early on, but the hosts fired back with three good scores to lead at the break. But Blackheath could do little to prevent the Blues second half juggernaut which crossed the line four times without reply.

Speaking after the game, Blues player coach Alex Rae said: "Full credit to Blackheath, they really made us work for it, particularly in the first half. We almost started to well and maybe got a little carried away, but they came back well and made us work hard. We got a reality check at the interval and we improved in the second half.

"We made mistakes in the first half and gave away silly penalties and before you knew it, we were defending our five metre line. Once we kept hold of the ball and kept our shape, we looked dangerous.

"Pre-season has ensured that we are battle-hardened and I've been really pleased with how training has gone. The players have bonded really well and everyone is itching for the season to start. As long as we continue to train hard and work hard, we'll get the right outcomes."
Judged on the opening six minutes, you'd be forgiven for thinking Bedford would have everything their own way as they ran in two tries which left the home supporters fearing the worse. 

In the fourth minute, the Blues used the pick and go to great effect with Sione Vailanu powering over and Harry Sheppard adding the extras before Jordan Burns scythed though the Blackheath defence to score a superb solo effort.

But that was as good as it got in the opening 40 as Blackheath found their feet and started exploiting gaps in the field. A driving maul from a lineout gave the hosts a platform before centre Mark Cooke was payed in and Joe Tarrant converted.

Bedford had to defend hard and did so with Ben Kelland and Ed Taylor linking up well it stop a Blackheath attack but the hosts were on the attack again with another penalty that went to touch. Bedford's pack did well to repel the attack before the ball was turned over and Burns cleared.

Back came the hosts though and a good nudge set up another attacking platform. The hosts pinched the lineout ball and then won a penalty which went to touch and after throwing the ball in, hooker Danny Herriott was on hand to dot down and Tarrant converted again.

Bedford were at sixes and sevens, and despite good carries from Rich Lane, Dom Morris and Chris Czekaj, the Blues couldn't find a way through and a forward pass handed possession back to the hosts.

With time in the half ticking away, the Blues were pinged for tackling off the ball. Touch followed before more phases and another penalty. Seeing the opportunity, scrum half Josh Davies spotted a gap and sniped through with Tarrant converting yet again.

Whether the hairdryer treatment was administered at the interval is for those in the changing room to know but a different side came out after the break. That said, Bedford were reduced to 14 three minutes into the half when Chris Czekaj was carded for taking a Blackheath man out after he chipped ahead.

It mattered not though as five minutes later, the Blues scored as Vailanu went over for his second. A lineout saw a maul form and the forwards did well before the backs had a run. A couple of rucks followed before Vailanu bulldozed his way over for an unconverted score.

A host of changes followed and the Blues turned up the intensity in attack while reducing the hosts to a handful of chances.

In the 59th minute the Blues were over again following a lineout. The initial drive was defended well by Blackheath but Paul Tupai made yards before a ruck formed and Lee Dickson played in Michael Le Bourgeois with Will Hooley converting.

From the restart Bedford scored again with sheer pace. Dean Adamson collected the ball, pinned his ears back and hurtled down the left wing. He passed inside to the supporting Howard Packman who returned the ball for the score and Hooley added the two point extras.

Bedford continued to dominate the second half and they scored their sixth and final try in the 68th minute. Another well worked move saw Adamson come off his wing and burst through the defence before spinning the ball wide to Packman who had a simple enough run in. Hooley converted to make it 21-38.

Blackheath regrouped as the game came to a conclusion and had a couple of good chances but lacked the finishing to reduce the deficit.
Regardless of the score line, Bedford were given a tough workout and will take the positives as they head to the capital once again next weekend to face Richmond in Round One of the Greene King IPA Championship.


Next Home Match

Wednesday 26th December
1st XV
Goldington Road