MATCH REPORT V ROTHERHAM
It appears that the elusive first win of the season will have to wait another week for Bedford Blues following another single point defeat to a Yorkshire club.
The conditions in Rotherham may have resembled monsoon season making the ball hard to keep hold of, but the Blues adapted well, fought hard, scored the only try of the game through Darren Fox but were ultimately left massively disappointed not to pick up the win.
The early signs were promising when Mark Atkinson broke down the centre of the field in the second minute with Mike Le Bourgeois in support but Rotherham covered well and prevented Nick Auterac from getting across thee line.
Bedford's early possession led to a penalty opportunity for James Pritchard but the club captain - facing a stiff wind - pulled his shot wide.
The up-and-under was a mainstay of the opening 40 minutes with it providing a good territorial ploy for the Blues but Rotherham got the games first points through the boot of Juan Pablo Socino when the centre converted a straight forward penalty on the 10 minute mark.
Not to be outdone, the Blues trundled up the field and after a penalty was sent to touch on the Roth 5m line, the forwards collected lineout ball and had only one destination with Fox popping up from the pile of bodies, ball in hand.
Unfortunately, the position of the conversion was almost identical to the penalty earlier and Pritchard again dragged it wide. Socino was not having the same problem though in the opening quarter and he took full advantage when Bedford were pinged for not releasing a tackle and then not retreating the full ten metres making the kick a bit easier for the Argentinian.
However, Socino was then presented with two easy looking penalties which both went shy of the posts and the half ended 6-5.
The second half started with Bedford coughing up possession but the defence - which was superb throughout - held firm and stop Rotherham from strolling forward.
Socino made Bedford pay with a 46th minute penalty, but Pritchard slotted a penalty of his own when backchat from Rotherham's forwards after they gave away a penalty at the scrum took ten metres off the kick.
Smart kicking from Jake Sharp and Darryl Veenendaal continued to pin Rotherham back but Pritchard was unlucky with a penalty attempt in the 58th minute but moments later Bedford did take the leadtook the lead when Sharp coolly slotted a drop goal from just outside the Roth 22.
Sadly though, Bedford were penalised at the breakdown again and Socino wasn't going to let the Blues off the hook as he made it 12-11 with a well struck effort.
Bedford continued to press and with the clock ticking down Le Bourgeois - who had a decent game at full back - pulled a drop goal effort just left of the sticks and then Sharp's effort went the same way. Roth took the ball back upfield and when referee Craig Evans awarded a very kickable penalty to the hosts, they took no chances and sent the ball to touch to seal the win.