Bedford Blues crashed out of the Championship Cup on Sunday afternoon as they were well beaten by Yorkshire Carnegie at Emerald Headingley.

A first half blitz from the hosts saw them lead 26-0 at the interval and despite second half tries from Ryan Hutler and Pat Tapley, the hosts equalled the scoring to seal a 38-14 win and a place in the final four.

Carnegie got the game off to a near perfect start as they dominated the ball and scored within five minutes. Jacob Umaga sent a kick high in the air which Elijah Nike gathered. He sprinted forward before the ball came out to Richard Mayhew who scored with Umaga adding the extras.

The hosts were certainly the bright starters and scored a second try in the 8th minute. Once again it was Niko who made the space with a great break supported by Umaga who then fed Dan Temm who went over in the corner for an unconverted score.

Carnegie continued to look dangerous with ball in hand and were kicking themselves in the 14th minute when a third try looked on the cards only for Temm to knock on as the try line beckoned.

But a third try was on the cards and it came in the 17th minute. Bedford didn’t take care of a lineout in their own half and Jade TeRure sent a grubber through the defence which Niko latched onto to score and Umaga added the extras to make it 19-0.

Bedford just couldn’t get into second gear and when a penalty went their way, the impressive Carnegie pack pinched the ball at the resulting lineout and denied the Blues an attacking opportunity. A scrum soon followed and the Blues stabbed the ball through a gap but again, Carnegie’s lineout was solid and they cleared soon afterwards.

The Blues started to find their feet with Jacob Fields, Sean McCarthy and Josh Buggea all making ground before James Lennon and Lewis Robling linked up. Chris Czekaj spotted space and was almost in, but the Carnegie defence scrambled and carried the Wales international into touch.

Things then went very wrong for the Blues as they continued to look for a way through the Carnegie defence. Bedford spilled the ball and it was quickly taken in by Andy Foster who fed Chris Elder who then ran from his own 22 to score with Umaga adding the extras to make it 26-0 with 35 minutes on the clock..

Bedford went through the phases as the half came to an end with Alex Penny, Huw Worthington and Jarad Williams all running well but they coughed up a penalty to allow Carnegie off the hook with the half ending soon afterwards.

The Blues needed to do something at the interval and four changes were it as Charlie Clare, Ben Cooper, Oli Curry and Lee Dickson were introduced with Will Carrick-Smith following soon after as Ed Taylor picked up a knock.

Bedford started adding some pressure on the hosts with a penalty sent into the 22 but Carnegie defended well but then knocked on to give the Blues an attacking scrum. Despite applying huge amounts of pressure over the following ten minutes, the hosts held firm and picked up a scrum of their own which resulted in their lines being cleared.

The Blues continued to press and they got their reward in the 59th minute when Williams, Carrick-Smith and Clare all made good yards before Dickson fed Ryan Hutler for the score which Robling converted from out wide to make it 26-7.

It was hoped that the try would be the catalyst for an unlikely Blues revival but then Bedford shot themselves in the foot. A clearance into the Blues 22 gave the visitors a lineout, but the ball was stolen with replacement prop Sam Nixon going over and Umaga converting to make restore a 26 point lead to the hosts.

Bedford are never one to give up though and they came back with a second try in the 68th minute. A scrum saw Dickson and Robling link up to send the ball wide through Rich Lane and Czekaj with Pat Tapley diving over in the corner and Robling converting superbly once again.

Bedford continued to knock on the door but Carnegie’s defence, along with a fair few mistakes by either side, meant that there was no chance of the comeback and deep in stoppage time Richard Mayhew went over from a driving maul with Umaga converting to see the Leeds-based club confirm their place in the hat for the semi-final draw.

Yorkshire Carnegie: 15. Chris Elder 14. Harry Davey 13. Elijah Niko 12. Jacob Umaga 11. George Watkins 10. Jade TeRure 9. JB Bruzulier 1. Nic Mayhew 2. Dylan Donnellan 3. Andy Foster 4. Cian Romaine 5. Will Britton 6. Lewis Wilson 7. Richard Mayhew (c) 8. Dan Temm

Replacements: 16. Joe Buckle 17. Tom Hill 18. Sam Nixon 19. Fa’atiga Lemalu 20. Trystan Lloyd 21. Sam Wolstenholme 22. Andy Forsyth

Bedford Blues: 15. Dean Adamson, 14. Pat Tapley 13. Rich Lane, 12. Chris Czekaj, 11. Ryan Hutler, 10. Lewis Robling, 9. James Lennon; 1. Sean McCarthy, 2. Jacob Fields, 3. Alex Penny, 4. Ed Taylor, 5. Mark Flanagan (c), 6. Huw Worthington, 7. Josh Buggea, 8. Jarad Williams

Replacements: 16. Charlie Clare, 17. Hayden King, 18. Ben Cooper, 19. Oli Curry, 20. Will Carrick-Smith, 21. Lee Dickson, 22. Joe Green

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

Attendance: 364

Next Home Match

Saturday 14th September
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road