PLAY-OFF SEMI FINAL PREVIEW V BRISTOL

After 1,760 pulsating minutes of Championship rugby, the season has finally concluded with Bedford Blues finishing in fourth position to set up a mouth-watering semi-final tie against table-topping Bristol this Sunday 1 May (KO 3:15pm).

The two sides have played each other four times already this season with the win tally finely balanced at two each - one in the league and one in the cup - meaning that Sunday’s first leg at Goldington Road is all set to be an instant classic.

Some ‘experts’ had written Mike Rayer’s men off before the season had even kicked off, but the home faithful knew what the squad was capable of and thanks to the fans wonderful support, the lads secured a top four finish and have extended the campaign for a few more weeks.

Bristol head into the game with a slight advantage having overcome the Blues 6-39 in the final league game last Saturday. That said, both teams had made a number of changes to their starting line-ups from the week before and two very different sides could be taking the field this weekend.

Bedford will be hoping to put in a performance similar to the one on the opening day of the season when a brace of tries for George Perkins on his competitive debut, along with one apiece for Jake Sharp and Dean Adamson sealed a 23-29 bonus point win at Ashton Gate - a result that no doubt catapulted confidence and showed the league that Bedford meant business.

Sunday’s game, which is being broadcast on Sky Sports for those unable to attend (but why on earth wouldn’t you?), is set to see a good crowd at Goldington Road and the easiest way to ensure your ticket is to buy online. Otherwise, you can also visit the ground between 9am and 6pm to purchase a ticket.

Whilst we are set for a superb on-field spectacle, we hope you can arrive early and also stick around to enjoy the match experience on offer.

There are still spaces available for a special two-course hospitality meal in the Blues Marquee pre-match for just £15 per person. The main will be a plentiful Sunday roast chicken followed by a dessert of Apple Tart. Email sophie@bedfordrugby.co.uk to book into hospitality whilst places remain.

Pick up a programme on arrival and head to one of the many bars on offer around the ground as the atmosphere hots up ahead of Kick Off with MC John Stenhouse guiding you through the day’s activities.

This week’s SSG Services Guard of Honour will be Beauchamp Middle School, let’s give them and the Bedford Bear a loud cheer as the teams run out on to the pitch.

After the match head to the Blues Marquee for the Anglian Fasteners’ Man of the Match presentation and enjoy live music from Mark Calder as the post-match party starts whilst mixing with players.

Gates open at 12 noon, arrive early to avoid the queues, tickets are available online with a £2.00 discount at www.theclubshop.co.uk/bedfordblues.

Match Day Sponsors:  Woburn Country Foods

Next Home Match

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

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