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The Blues return home this Saturday for the biggest match of the season so far against a Cornish Pirates side brimming with confidence - but with a play-off spot still within Bedford’s grasp the boys need the support of a strong 16th man (kick off 3pm).

In the reverse fixture, Pirates broke Bedford hearts with a last minute winning try and conversion at a boggy Mennaye Field to seal a 32-31 home victory leaving the Blues intent on levelling this season’s outings against Ian Davies’ men.

Bedford Blues was deeply saddened to hear of the premature death of former player Norman Hadley at the age of just 51 over the Easter weekend.

A Canadian international, who captained Canada five times, he made an outstanding contribution to his country's success in reaching the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in 1991.

Second row 'Stormin' Norm joined Bedford at the start of the professional era in 1996 and although uncompromising on the field he proved a popular gentle giant in the clubhouse.

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.

Bedford Blues head north this weekend as they prepare to face fourth placed Yorkshire Carnegie in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams have 58 points in the Championship table, but the Blues sit in third place having won one more game than their opponents.

When the teams met at Goldington Road back in November, Carnegie had stormed into a 21 point lead with 17 minutes remaining before three Blues tries from Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, Steffan Jones and George Perkins turned things around. With the game in the balance, Jones then slotted a 50 plus metre penalty in the dying moments to seal the victory.

Doing the double over any team always leaves a good taste, but it will be extra sweet for Doncaster Knights if they can close the gap to Championship leaders Bristol Rugby with victory in the first-versus-second clash this weekend.

Coming into Round 19, the Knights sit ten points adrift of their title rivals with four regular season games left to play.

If reeling in that difference was not motivation enough, hosts Doncaster will welcome their opponents to Castle Park still smarting from a disappointing British and Irish Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Cornish Pirates.

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Next Home Match

Friday 19th August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
7.45pm

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