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Bedford Blues booked their place in the Championship play-off semi-finals after picking up a losing bonus point in a narrow defeat against second-placed Doncaster Knights at Castle Park writes Beds on Sunday.

Jersey's failure to beat Ealing Trailfinders meant that they can't overtake the Blues irrespective of the results on the final day of the regular season next weekend.

The Blues will go into their final league game against Bristol having lost four of their last six league games, but they will take heart from this spirited showing against a Doncaster side beaten just twice at home in the league.

The Blues Academy ended their 15-a-side season with a convincing win away at Doncaster.

Despite the long coach journey the Blues played some fine rugby in the first 15 minutes.  A strong lineout drive gained ground for a second lineout 5m from the Doncaster line.  Bedford varied their game and the ball was moved wide for centre Adrian Sanday to make ground and offload to winger Ross Taylor in support for a fine try;  fullback Liam Shields converted. 

With just two games left in the Championship season, Bedford Blues head north to take on Doncaster Knights at Castle Park on Saturday afternoon.

Games between the two sides are often enthralling affairs and back in December, the boot of Dougie Flockhart helped the Knights inflicted the first home defeat of the season on the Blues 13-18.

Looking ahead to the game, Blues Backs coach Paul Larkin said: “A trip to Castle Park is never easy and we know that the Knights will want to gain momentum as they head into the play-offs. That said, we have two huge games before the season ends and we want to make sure that we give our fantastic followers something to cheer about.

The Blues Academy U19s travel up the A1, ahead of the Blues 1st XV, to take on Doncaster Academy as a curtain raiser to the Doncaster vs Blues Championship league game.  In the pack Ollie Pescott-Frost and Leon Patel-Champion start at prop, with Chayse Tyler at hooker;  Ethan Hughes starts at second row, with Jacob Turner moving to the flank, and Jack Spurr moving to No. 8.  In the back line Callum Tormey stats at fly half; Adrian Sanday (St. Joseph’s College, Ipswich) makes his debut at centre, and Tom Fawsett returns from England U18 duty on the wing.

It is the penultimate round of Greene King IPA Championship's regular season and while three of the semi-finalists are confirmed, there is still plenty of jostling left to be done.

And perhaps the pick of the ties this weekend is at Castle Park, as fourth-placed Bedford Blues will go in hunt of sealing a top four berth should they topple Doncaster Knights.

The stakes are high for both sides, as a bonus-point win would secure second spot for the Knights, while the Blues could reel in third-place Yorkshire Carnegie with victory.

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