MATCH REPORT V JERSEY REDS

Bedford Blues Championship winning streak came to an abrupt halt on Saturday afternoon as they went down 29-13 to Jersey Reds in St Peter.

Trailing by just six points at the interval thanks to a Jarad Williams try, the Blues had a huge amount of possession and territory in the opening exchanges of the second half but failed to turn any of them into points. Instead, Jersey turned the ball over and crossed twice more with Ryan Hutler scoring a late consolation.

See all the highlights from the game here.

Blues put early pressure on the hosts with Mark Flanagan running down an attempted clearance before Leroy Van Dam taken to touch but it was brought back for a scrum. The Blues secured the ball and set up an attack but Jersey defended well and forced an error to win the ball back for a scrum of their own.

No one took grip of the game early on but much like last week, an early penalty to the Blues set up the chance for points and Lewis Robling struck the ball through the uprights to give Bedford the lead.

Jersey turned over the restart and looked to peg the Blues back in their own half with a succession of nudges over the top of the Bedford defence. The Blues looked to maul on but the defence was good and the Reds won the scrum in the Bedford half to set up an attacking platform but the scrum did superbly and the ball was turned over and cleared.

The hosts were gifted a penalty in the 16th minute when a great high ball wasn’t taken in by Hutler and an offside followed. Aaron Penberthy punted to touch allowing the lineout maul to do its job with Charlie Maddison dotting down and the fly half adding the extras to make it 7-3. 

Jersey had the wind in their sails and a second try followed off the back of another penalty. A quick tap and go saw Van Dam and Will Homer linking up before full back Auguy Slowik went over for the score with Penberthy converting again.

The Blues didn’t let their heads drop after two quick tries and penalties came their way allowing Robling to find touch deep in the Jersey 22. The Blues went to the training ground move and a quick ball saw Jarad Williams cross in the corner for the unconverted score to make it 14-8.

Both sides began cancelling one another out but Robling put pressure on the hosts with a good kick into the Jersey 22 with a minute or so left on the clock. Jersey soaked up the pressure well though and went through the phases to see out the first half.

The Blues started the second half brightly and Robling sending a penalty to the Jersey 22 after Hutler was taken high. A second penalty followed, but the Blues had the ball pinched and Slowik went on the attack only to be called back for an offside following a knock on as the ball went to the fullback. 

Bedford were getting the rub of the green in terms of the referees whistle and Robling set up another attacking lineout but once again they lost possession and Jersey cleared. It turned out to be a frustrating ten minutes as the Blues had most of the possession, most of the territory, lots of penalties but no end product.

The Blues were well and truly punished in the 53rd minute after they failed to take advantage of all their possession. Homer got the move rolling with Reds support all around before Slowik played the ball into prop Roy Godfrey who dived over the line with Penberthy converting to make it 21-8 somewhat against the run of play.

Once again the Blues pulled themselves together and started to do what they do best - throw the ball around. James Lennon and Jake Sharp formed a new half back combination while Ben Cooper, Jacob Fields, Huw Worthington and Ed Taylor all came on to try and make an impact.

But Bedford’s hopes were well and truly dashed in the 64th minute when Matt Worley was carded for a deliberate knock on. The ball went to touch, the lineout did its job and Nick Selway dotted down but Penberthy missed the conversion but his side still led 26-8.

Looking for an immediate response, the Blues came back firing with Cooper carrying well which then allowed Robling to fire a pass to Hutler, but Jersey made the tackle and took the winger to touch.

With ten minutes remaining, the Blues had a foot back in the game as Sharp sent a perfect grubber through the gap with it bouncing perfectly into the hands of Hutler who crossed for the score but there was no conversion to follow.

The Blues were throwing caution to the wind as Lennon made a superb run into the Jersey half, but the hosts regrouped to turn the ball over and avert the danger. The Blues got a penalty and went quick but another try saving tackle followed and then the Reds turned it over to truly halt the momentum that Bedford were building.

Bedford continued to give their all, but Jersey showed plenty of nous to force a penalty which Penberthy decided to send over the sticks to make sure there was no chance of a Blues comeback as the lead stretched to 29-13 before seeing out the game.

Jersey Reds: 15. Auguy Slowik, 14. Jason Worrall, 13. James Newey, 12. Apakuki Ma'afu, 11. Leroy Van Dam, 10. Aaron Penberthy, 9. Will Homer; 1. Roy Godfrey, 2. Charlie Maddison, 3. Leeroy Atalifo, 4. Jerry Sexton (c), 5. Charlie Beckett, 6. Rory Bartle, 7. Max Argyle, 8. Janco Venter.

Replacements: 16. Nick Selway, 17. Harry Morley, 18. Sam Rodman, 19. Dave McKern, 20. Jake Upfield; 21. Liam Howley, 22. George Eastwell.

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

Replacements: 16. Jacob Fields, 17. Toby Trinder, 18. Ben Cooper, 19. Ed Taylor, 20. Huw Worthington, 21. James Lennon, 22. Jake Sharp

Ref: Sara Cox

Attendance: 1579

Pictures courtesy of Rich Chapman

Next Home Match

Saturday 14th September
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
4.00pm

Partners