Match Report v Newcastle
Sometimes there just aren’t the words to sum up the feeling after a game of rugby and many Bedford Blues fans leaving Kingston Park on Friday night will have experienced that predicament after seeing their team lose 17-15.
For 80 minutes the Blues players fought tooth and nail with their counterparts from the North East. Three penalty kicks were slotted by Myles Dorrian, two stunning drop goals were converted by Mark Atkinson and the Blues matched the home side in almost every area of the park.
But one of the most fortuitous tries you are ever likely to hear about and then a gut-wrenching injury time score for the hosts meant that when Jimmy Gopperth stepped up and added the extras (why didn’t he head to Leinster straight away…), Bedford took just a solitary bonus point rather than four.
Newcastle haven’t been beaten all season and despite trailing 6-0 thanks to a Dorrian penalty and a huge Atkinson drop goal, the home fans thought they would be in it after the break when Gopperth stepped up to kick a penalty. The ball drifted towards the uprights, hit the right post, then the left, then the crossbar, dropped in front of the posts where it was gathered by centre Jamie Helleur to score and Gopperth converted.
After the interval, Gopperth missed a second penalty attempt – this time it was wide and not threatening the posts – before things got a bit feisty. Gopperth and James Stephenson were sin-binned following a ruckus but Dorrian kept his cool and slotted the resulting penalty to make it 7-9 before Atkinson dropped another beauty for 7-12 with Newcastle down to 13 players when Ally Hogg was carded.
Dorrian hit his third of the evening with ten minutes remaining before Gopperth returned and exchanged fire to make it 10-15. But as 80 minutes passed and stoppage time commenced, Bedford received their second yellow and were pinned back on their line before Noah Cato crossed and Gopperth converted to break every Blues heart in the ground.