MATCH REPORT V CORNISH PIRATES

Bedford Blues took on the Cornish Pirates in a barnstormer of a Greene King IPA Championship fixture, but it was the hosts who took the win while the Blues left Penzance with a single bonus point.

Last season, this fixture saw a 40-40 draw and once again it was a truly entertaining encounter but with slightly tighter defences.

An injury to Ben Adams in the warm-up ruled the Australian back rower out of the game so Josh Buggea came in for his first start of the season while Paul Tupai took a place on the bench.

The reshuffle had little disruption for the Blues though as they opened the scoring in the 11th minute. A penalty was punted to touch with the Blues maul then inching towards the Pirates 22 before George Edgson broke from the back and set up a ruck. Lee Dickson then directed traffic with Bedford carrying well through Sean McCarthy, Alex Rae and Will Carrick-Smith before Jarad Williams played in Dean Adamson for his 11th of the season which Will Hooley converted.

Bedford continued to push, but the Pirates were stubborn in defence and picked up a penalty which Will Cargill converted to make it 3-7.

Things went wrong for the Blues soon after the restart as back rower Tom Lawday managed to charge his way through the Bedford defensive line to score a fine individual try which Cargill converted from out wide to give the hosts the lead.

Back came the Blues though as a lineout on halfway was gathered by Rae before Williams sent Dickson on his way. An inside pass saw Adamson find space and he in turn released Mike Le Bourgeois who made good ground before being stopped seven metres from the line. Edgson and Buggea combined well before a looping pass from Hooley found Rich Lane and the centre crossed the whitewash for the unconverted score.

However, Bedford couldn't quite see out the half and the hosts took the lead once again as a succession of pick and go attempts resulted in prop Jack Andrew going over from close range and Cargill converted once more to make it 17-12.

The second half was just as feisty as the first but it was Bedford who took the initiative and scored the next try. Despite almost losing his head to a high tackle, Lane made good yards before spreading the ball to his fellow backs with Elliot Clements-Hill playing in Adamson. Dickson fed the ball down the left with Tom Lindsay, Adamson and Ollie Dodge all showing quick hands before Clements-Hill crossed in the corner. Sadly, Hooley's conversion pulled just left of the uprights so the scores were all level at 17-17.

Time ticked on with the Pirates pummelling the Blues defence, but Bedford's pack did a sterling job in repelling so much but persistence finally paid off for the hosts in the 70th minute when hooker Dan Frost went over from close range with Cargill converting to make it 24-17.

Bedford continued to throw the ball around in an attempt to find the levelling score, but the Pirates shut up shop to seal the win.

The Blues return to British & Irish Cup action on Friday night as they head to Cork to face Munster A in Round Three of the competition before welcoming the Irish side to Goldington Road a week later.

COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

Pictures courtesy of Brian Tempest

Next Home Match

Saturday 16th December
1st XV B&I Cup
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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