Bedford Athletic 38 Leighton Buzzard 0

Bedford Athletic worked hard for a bonus point 38-0 victory at home to Leighton Buzzard.

In a game dominated by poor weather conditions the side had to revert to a far more direct style to grind out the scores in a match that did not reward running rugby.

Importantly Bedford Athletic created two early scores before the pitch deteriorated too much. The first came on three minutes as Andy Ince carried strongly into the visiting defence and when the ball was spread wide Stephen Woodhead was on hand to exploit the space and cross for the first try. As Bedford Athletic continued to press it was the forwards who dominated pinning Leighton Buzzard onto their own line, but when they met stout resistance, the ball was eventually fed to the backs and Josh Cassell crashed over by the posts for the second try, James Mortimer converting both. Thereafter the game settled into an attritional affair with both defences working hard and chances at a premium. Leighton Buzzard did have two penalty kicks at goal, both of which they missed, and in return Bedford Athletic had one following a Cassell inspired breakout which Mortimer did convert to give Bedford Athletic a 17-0 lead at half time.

Bedford Athletic started the second half on the attack again but it was slow, lateral and inaccurate. This finally improved when the forwards started to fashion a far more direct driving game and this paid dividends when Nick Thomas crashed through the centre of a ruck for a third try on 50 minutes, Mortimer again converting. With complete dominance in the set piece, notably at the lineout where Rob Watkins disrupted most of the opposition’s ball, the home side were rarely threatened and strong carries from the likes of Thomas, John Clarke and Josh McCann meant they continued to probe looking for the bonus point try. This arrived on 71 minutes and was rather symptomatic of the frustrations of the day as eventually Ryan Taylor drove over the line from half a yard out. These frustrations also led to a yellow card for John Clarke on 68 minutes as the team made one infringement too many for the referee’s liking, but playing with 14 men did not stop the home side as finally another Thomas charge opened up space for the backs and Harry Sawford-Smith scored the game’s final try. James Mortimer converted for 13 points in the match and another 100% kicking performance.

There was no change in the league table and Bedford Athletics’ next opponents are Market Rasen & Louth to whom they travel this Saturday with a 2.15pm kick off.