MATCH REPORT V YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE

Bedford Blues fell just short against Yorkshire Carnegie at a blustery Headingley as the hosts ran out 35-20 victors in front of the Sky Sports cameras with Blues unlucky not to pick up two bonus points.

Mike Rayer’s men did lead briefly against their fellow top four contenders through a terrific try by Dean Adamson early in the second half, but the home side managed to rescue 17 unanswered points to close it out with Bedford deserving a last-minute consolation, only to be ruled out by a frequent TMO.

The win enables Yorkshire to leapfrog the Blues in the Championship table and with a tough run-in ahead, seeing the gap between them and fifth-placed Jersey closed to eight points.

It makes next week's home game against Cornish Pirates even more crucial for their play-off hopes, but they again showed enough in this game to suggest they can bounce back with the majority of the rugby played.

Yorkshire had the first points of the afternoon after five minutes when Kevin Sinfield slotted a straightforward penalty from in front of the posts.

It came from their first real attack as Bedford began the game well with only a couple of inaccurate executions stopping them from turning dangerous threats into scoreboard pressure.

But the Blues shot themselves in the foot the next time the hosts were in their 22 as Henry Taylor failed to get a pass away from the base of a ruck near his own line that none of his nearby teammates could pick up and Richard Beck swooped to accept the gift.

Sinfield added the conversion, but Jake Sharp was to quickly get Bedford off the mark with a penalty after Yorkshire were pinged for obstruction at the restart.

The visitors then hit back with their first try as Joel Conlon, off the back of a successful rolling maul, was able to ground the ball on the line as the lineout began to function. Following the consultation of the TMO, Sharp put the conversion wide.

Yorkshire extended their lead to 13-8 when Sinfield knocked over a penalty after a brilliant break from his own half by the hosts' captain Ryan Burrows.

A really good chance for Bedford went begging when Sharp threw an adjudged forward pass to Michael Le Bourgeois when a try was looking extremely likely down the right.

The Blues then conceded for a second time when the ball was worked left to Burrows, whose ball outside found Taylor Prell and he escaped the clutches of Taylor to score in the corner.

But it was game on again from the final play of the first half as Taylor found Mike Howard, whose inside ball allowed Josh Buggea to go through under the posts and Sharp added the extras.

Six minutes into the second half, Bedford hit the front for the first time in brilliant fashion as the impressive Griffiths broke from his own 22 before passing to Buggea, who timed his pass to send Adamson sprinting clear.

The lead didn't last long, however, as a driving maul from the hosts' next attack proved impossible to stop as Mike Myerscough crashed over with Sinfield converting to make the score 25-20.

Yorkshire then piled on the pressure as Chris Pilgrim was stopped just short of the line with advantage being played, but superb last ditch defence after the resulting penalty was to allow the Blues to clear their lines as Bedford turned over possession.

They couldn't hold on though as Yorkshire continued to pound them, however, and eventually Jonah Holmes was to breach their defences to extend the gap to ten points having again surrended guilt edged chances in attack as Blues failed to find the finishing touch.

The win was sealed when Chris Walker received the ball in acres of space on the right and passed to replacement Andy Saull, who was able to fall over the line in the corner.

Bedford ended the game on the attack, with a series of attacks in the last five minutes, but were unable to collect a try bonus point as Paul Tupai, Jordan Burns and Harry Wells were all held up after getting over the line as the TMO again got involved to deny the Blues not once, but three times to leave the travelling support frustrated with an important point feeling fully deserved.

Yorkshire Carnegie: Holmes, Goss, Lucock, Burdon (Wright 74), Prell, Sinfield, Pilgrim (Hodgson 68), Imiolek (Beech 61), Graham (Nilsen 47), Tideswell (O'Donnell 47), Myerscough (Jones 65), Smith, Beck (Saull 65), Walker, Burrows

Bedford Blues: Jones, Tapley, Le Bourgeois, Griffiths, Adamson, Sharp (Dorrian 66), Taylor (Burns 68), Williams (Parilli-Ocampo 71), Clare (James 71), Boulton, Howard, Flanagan (Lundberg 66), Blanchet (Wells 53), Buggea, Conlon (Tupai 32)

Referee: John Meredith

Attendance: 1,718

Next Home Match

Friday 24th November
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
7.45pm

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