MATCH REPORT V DONCASTER KNIGHTS

It was honours even at Castle Park on Saturday afternoon as Bedford Blues scored late on to level the game before collectively sighing in relief as Simon Humberstone's drop goal attempt drifted just wide of the uprights in the final play of the game.

It was a fitting ending to a hugely entertaining game which saw both sides fighting tooth-and-nail to try and win the game as Bedford reduced a ten point deficit to set up the grandstand finale.

It was the Blues who opened the scoring as Harry Sheppard sent a penalty deep into the Donny 22 before the rolling maul did its job to set up an attacking platform before a series of pick and go attacks resulted in George Edgson going over from close range and Sheppard adding the extras.

But the Knights fired back immediately as Michael Hills linked up with Alex Shaw who had Tom Hicks in support. Somehow, the lock managed to get the ball away to Tyson Lewis who darted towards the try line to score and make it 5-7.

Doncaster started to pile on the pressure, but Bedford soaked it up and Sheppard was on hand to intercept a pass as Donny pressed forward. Sheppard carried well before being hauled to the ground, but Bedford built on the momentum with Alex Penny, Jarad Williams and Sean McCarthy all being involved before Mike Le Bourgeois sent the ball to Rich Lane to run in the unconverted try.

Sheppard kept the score board rolling with a 22nd minute penalty to give the Blues a ten point lead but it also worked as a catalyst for the hosts who tightened up and started making in ways as the half continued.

Bedford's defence was being put to the test as Doncaster sent wave of attacks forward and a penalty saw Declan Cusack stick the ball into the Blues 22. The Donny pack did its job with Ben Hunter going over and Dougie Flockhart bringing the score back to 12-15.

The Blues almost had the perfect response but Jordan Burns, who replaced the injured Dean Adamson, just couldn't hold onto a well-placed chip over the top.

Back came Donny again though as their backs found gaps in the Blues defence before the forwards took over. Alex Shaw came close to the line, but Colin Quigley was on hand to crash over from close range to give the hosts a 17-15 lead at the interval.

Flockhart chipped over three points when Bedford were pinged for a no armed tackle which saw Sean McCarthy binned in the process.

Doncaster punished Bedford's ill-discipline by running in a fourth try of the afternoon. After taking the restart, the Donny pack mauled onwards and Bedford conceded another penalty which Cusack sent to touch. The initial Blues defence was good, but the hosts got a second wind and drove over with Hunter claiming his second giving Donny a ten point lead 25-15.

Replacement Will Hooley brought the Blues to within seven points as he struck a 62nd minute penalty before Burns found space on the wing to dot down in the corner. Hooley calmly stepped up - putting all thought of that late missed conversion attempt against Yorkshire Carnegie a few weeks ago behind him - and slotted the ball between the sticks to level the game.

Donny were down to 14 as Owen Evans was carded in the build-up to the Blues try, but the hosts had a final chance to win the game. The hosts forced their way into the Blues 22 and the ball was sent to Humberstone, but his effort drifted wide of the posts and referee John Meredith brought the game to an end.

The Blues return to Goldington Road to face Hartpury under the Friday Night Lights with kick-off at 7.45pm.

COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

Next Home Match

Saturday 16th December
1st XV B&I Cup
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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