Nottingham v Bedford Blues

Sunday, 7 February, 2016 - 15:00
1st XV Championship
Won 18-20

All good things come to those who wait, and Bedford Blues were the shining example of this on Sunday afternoon as they pinched an 18-20 victory over Nottingham with the final kick of the game.

Despite an early penalty from Myles Dorrian and a brace of tries from Paul Tupai, Bedford headed into the final minute of the game trailing the Green and Whites 18-13. Joel Conlon made a super break along the right wing before timing his perfectly to the supporting Sam Blanchet who dodged the final tackle to score under the posts giving Jake Sharp the simplest of conversions to win it.

While the finale of the game was incredible, much of what preceded it had been less so as both teams struggle with blustery conditions and a pitch that churned from start to finish.

The Blues started brightly and immediately piled on pressure which brought about a penalty which Dorrian slotted in the fourth minute but the tide soon turned as Bedford were reduced to 14 men when Sam Blanchet was carded for a tip-tackle.

Bedford dug in deep though, and spent the next ten minutes soaking up pressure and repelling a wave of Nottingham attacks with the other Blanchet disrupting the hosts lineout to aid the final clearance.

But just as the Blues defence breathed a sigh of relief, they were given another ten minute headache when James Currie was shown yellow card for bringing down a maul.

It mattered not though, as once again the defence did its job to keep the hosts at bay (although Ben Woods did go over for Nottingham only to see his effort denied for a double movement).

Penalties ended up costing the Blues though as Dan Mugford levelled the scores on the stroke of half time.

The second half was a far more lively affair and Bedford came close early on when Harry Wells played in Sam Blanchet only for the winger to put a foot in touch as he raced for the line. It proved to be a fortunate error though as Nottingham’s lineout was wonky and the Blues took full advantage to pile over the line with Tupai coming up with the ball but the try was unconverted.

Bedford then stretched their lead to 3-13 when their own lineout in Nottingham’s 22 was safely collected before the pack rumbled over with Tupai again benefitting but again there were to be no extras.

Nottingham suddenly sprang into action and they closed the gap to three points when Paul Grant went over for a try with Mugford converting.

Ten minutes later, Nottingham took the lead as they crossed the whitewash for a second time. Mugford created the try with a well placed grubber kick for Ben Woods to latch onto but the conversion went missing and the lead was just 15-13

With two minutes left on the clock, Nottingham looked to have secured the win when replacement Lawrence Rayner converted a penalty, but the Blues never gave up and got their just desserts when Blanchet dotted down and Sharp coolly slotted the extras to win it.

The win keeps the Blues third in the Greene King IPA Championship table, but more importantly it moves them 12 points ahead of their opponents who remain fifth.

Bedford return to Goldington Road next weekend as they welcome Jersey in round 16 of the Championship.

Come on you Blues!

See more of Nigel Rudgard's pictures  HERE.

Next Home Match

Saturday 27th October
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road



See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at