Bedford Blues tasted defeat for a second time this season as they went down 14-9 to Jersey, but they left the island with their heads held high.

A much improved performance was notable from the first whistle but the Blues had opportunities to win it late on. A five metre lineout drive saw the ball gathered and grounded over the line but the ref called it back and awarded Jersey the scrum. Moments later, a Blues maul powered forward before being dragged down perilously close to the Jersey line but it was just a penalty.

Speaking after the game, Blues Number 8 Ben Adams said: “The score does show the mammoth effort that went into the game today. The were a few key parts of the game where we could of turned momentum but it wasn't to be.

“Last week against Pirates just wasn't good enough so we went away, looked at it and fixed it. Jersey have a reputation for having the biggest and strongest pack in the league but we more than matched them today. I can't speak highly enough of the boys today.”

In challenging conditions the blues started brightly and were awarded an early penalty but Dorrian’s effort drifted to the right of the uprights.

It was to be an afternoon of tough tackling and few backward steps as Josh Buggea, Ed Taylor and Ben Adams all went hunting for for Redman who carried the ball. 

Bedford’s persistence paid off and another penalty went their way in the ninth minute when Jersey wheeled the scrum and Elliot Clements-Hill slotted the ball between the posts.

The greasy ball was tough to keep hold of and Jersey benefited immediately when a knock on was caught in an offside position. Brendan Cope sent the ball to touch and the tried-and-tested Jersey lineout, catch and drive saw hooker Joe Buckle score to make it 5-3.

The Blues continued to press and Dorrian  name on the score sheet with a straight forward penalty in the 13th minute before Cope reined three minutes later.

Things got rather heated in the 24th minute following more big hits and silly mistakes. Handbags landed Buggea and Jersey’s Nick Haining in the bin.

Jersey converted a 30th minute penalty to increase the lead to 11-6 but Bedford had two good attacking chances before the half ended. 

A penalty went to touch five metres out and Bedford mauled towards the line but were stopped short. Hayden Thompson-Stringer went for the line but knocked on.

A couple of minutes later, the Blues executed a nice training ground move orchestrated by Burns but Clements-Hill’s foot went to touch ending the move and brought about half time.

The second period was an attritional affair with both teams cancelling one another out as they attacked. Cope’s kicking boots failed him as he hit the post and then dragged another wide.

Bedford continued to try and find a way through the Reds back line and the scrum was starting to cause Jersey all sorts of problems with Dave Spelman, Jacob Fields and Thompson-Stringer doing the damage before Chris Judge, George Edgson and Jack Culverhouse continued the good work.

Cope finally found his range in the 76th minute penalty but that as quickly cancelled out by Jake Sharp before the agonising conclusion to the encounter.