MATCH REPORT V CORNISH PIRATES

Bedford Blues hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Championship Cup were given a boost when they picked up a bonus point win over the Cornish Pirates on Saturday afternoon.

Two tries for Dean Adamson and one each from Ed Coulson and Pat Tapley secured the important bonus point, but a final flurry from the Pirates made for a squeaky finish as they scored three tries in eight minutes but ran out of time for the most unlikeliest of comebacks as the Blues held on to win 27-17.

Match reaction from Will Hooley and all the scores can be seen here.

As is often the way with these two teams, it was a cautious start from both sides with neither really exerting any dominance in the opening exchanges. Bedford started to shift through the gears in the sixth minute as Alex Penny, Rich Lane and Lewis Robling all carried well before Ed Taylor, Josh Buggea and Justin Blanchet got in on the action, only for a penalty to be conceded allowing the Pirates to clear their line.

Bedford continued to press and the PIrates picked up the second of their 12 first half penalties which Will Hooley slotted between the uprights to make it 3-0 in the 12th minute.

Hooley was keeping the pressure on the Pirates with some fine, deep kicks which penned the visitors back and they were lucky not to concede when Chris Czekaj plucked the ball out of the air and looked to release Robling but the pass was slightly wayward. 

Bedford’s defence was called into action when Will Cargill intercepted a loose pass and chipped through the middle, but Lane was there to cover and clear.

The Blues were on the attack from a lineout which saw Lee Dickson pulling the strings as Bedford went down the left then cut through the middle only for Brett Beukeboom to deliberately knock on. The Canadian international was carded for his efforts while Dean Adamson went off for a head injury assessment and was replaced by Ed Coulson.

The opening try of the game soon followed as Bedford took advantage of the numerical advantage. More penalties followed so Hooley stuck the ball in the corner with Charlie Clare finding his man to set up the attack. The Blues broke with Tapley coming off his wing to score under the sticks giving Hooley the easiest of conversions.

10-0 became 17-0 two minutes later as the Blues exploited space once again. Jarad Williams got the move started before Penny - standing in at nine - Hooley, Czekaj and Robling played the ball down the line to Coulson who dived over in the corner. Hooley lined up the conversion and struck it as sweetly as possible to add the extras.

The Pirates had very little to enjoy about the opening 40 minutes as Bedford continued to press at every opportunity with the backs finding gaps and the forwards ploughing through the middle. Their cause wasn’t helped when Tom Cowan-Dickie suffered an injury and had to be replaced in the 33rd minute.

The Blues scored a third try in the 37th minute through some very patient play. Mark Flanagan took the lineout ball which turned into a ruck straight away. Czekaj crashed through the line with Buggea and Williams taking on the ball before a lofty pass over the top form Hooley allowed Adamson to dot down in the corner with the conversion striking the upright and bouncing clear.

Bedford continued to press with more penalties racking up for the Pirates who lost Jack Owlett to a yellow card, but the Blues lineout maul was brilliantly defended and the Cornishmen made it to half time without conceding any more points.

Whatever was said at the interval had the desired effect on the visitors as they came firing out the blocks with renewed vigour and determination. The Cornishmen went on the attack and mounted their first real serious attack of the game. However, Bedford turned the ball over and went all ‘Brazil 70’ as they looked to attack from their own try line before accepting it wasn’t on and punting clear.

A fine Williams break from the base of the scrum made the Blues 40 metres with replacement scrum half Alex Gliksten helping out along the way while Alex Penny battered his way over the gain line. Bedford’s persistence paid off in the 60th minute after wave-upon-wave of pick and go attacks soaked in the Pirates defence so Gliksten and Hooley combined to sail the ball over to Adamson for his second.

The Pirates were so much better in the second half with the slope and wind behind them but it tool until Ed Coulson’s yellow card in the 71st minute for them to get on the score sheet. Bedford defended like heroes, but a mazing run from Alex O’Meara was a true highlight as he danced his way under the sticks. Sadly, his attempted quick conversion cannoned off the bar much to the amusement of the fans.

The Cornishmen had the wind beneath their sails (quite literally) and they scored a second straight away as another good O’Meara attack was snubbed out but the ball was quickly recycled to winger Robin Wedlake who went over the line with Harvey Skinner firing a great conversion.

There was time for a third Pirates try at the death when a lineout attack saw the ball spread to the right wing with Dan Koster dotting down in the corner for the unconverted score and the whistle following the conversion attempt.

Bedford Blues: 15. Rich Lane, 14. Pat Tapley, 13. Lewis Robling, 12. Chris Czekaj, 11. Dean Adamson, 10. Will Hooley, 9. Lee Dickson (c); 1. Sean McCarthy, 2. Charlie Clare, 3. Alex Penny, 4. Ed Taylor, 5. Mark Flanagan, 6. Justin Blanchet, 7. Josh Buggea, 8. Jarad Williams.

Replacements: 16. Tadgh McElroy, 17. Toby Trinder, 18. Ben Cooper, 19. Oli Curry, 20. Huw Worthington, 21. Alex Gliksten, 22. Ed Coulson

Cornish Pirates: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Dan Koster, 12 Javier Rojas Alvarez, 11 Robin Wedlake, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day; 1 Jack Andrew 2 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 3 Jack Owlett, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Brett Beukeboom (c), 6 Matt Bolwell, 7 John Stevens, 8 Tom Duncan.

Replacements:   16 Sam Matavesi, 17 Tom Concu, 18 Nodar Cheishvili, 19 Josh Caulfield, 20 Alex Schwarz, 21 Harvey Skinner, 22 Callum Patterson.

Referee: Alexander Thomas
Assistants:Shane Lewis & Nick Marshall
Official 4: George Richardson

Attendance: 1986

See more of Nigel Rudgard's pictures HERE.
 

Next Home Match

Wednesday 26th December
1st XV
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

Partners