Bedford Athletic 40 Sidcup 22

Bedford Athletic secured a 40 points to 22 win at home to Sidcup. Playing with an energy, pace and intensity that has been lacking in recent games the side were well worth their bonus point victory.

Bedford Athletic earned a penalty from the kick off which Leo Mortimer converted for an early lead. Sidcup responded by running through multiple phases and eventually settled for a penalty of their own kicked by Josh Twyford. From the kick off, Sidcuptapped the ball back which ran loose and Josh Cassell gathered for the opening try. Mortimer converted this and added another penalty for a 13-3 lead. The home side were starting to play with an increasing fluidity and Sidcup were struggling to deal with them. Two attacks ended with kicks where the ball went dead in the in goal area forcing Sidcup to drop kick possession back to the home side. Sidcup did have a brief flurry of play in the home side’s half before Rob Watkins snuffed out the chance with an expert turnover and returning to the attack Mortimer then hit the post with another long range penalty. From the next phase of play he sent yet another penalty kick into touch near the visitor’s try line. Following the drive from the lineout, Charlie Darlow, Andy Ince and Casey George all carried hard into the visitor’s defencebefore play was switched back to the short side where Darlow was on hand to crash through several tackles and touch down for the second try, Mortimer converting yet again. He kicked a further penalty on the half hour mark to extend the Bedford Athletic lead to twenty points. Sidcup did have much more possession and territory in the final ten minutes of the half but any opportunities were snuffed out when they were strongly driven backwards and turned over at two attacking scrums and Bedford Athletic went into half time with a 23-3 lead.

Sidcup had the early pressure at the start of the second half but this was soon repelled and Bedford Athletic were swiftly on the attack once more. Yet another penalty kick to touch set up a driving maul from the forwards which splintered the visiting pack and Liam Walsh dived over for the third try. Mortimer kicked the conversion for a 30 points to 3 lead in the 48th minute. With little to lose Sidcup now started to open up the game and run the ball at every opportunity. This led to a faster, looser game that they eventually profited from when they went the length of the field for their first try, touched down on the right wing by replacement Liam Jones. The first try visibly gave them confidence and they were soon driving toward the home line again with Andy Ince being sin binned for pulling down the maul. From the next catch and drive they outmuscled the home side with flanker Zak Jones scoring their second try. Twyford’s conversion made the score 30-15. Bedford Athletic were still creating chances but lacked the accuracy to finish them off as handling errors stunted progress and knock ons at crucial times wasted possession. As a result it was another length of the field counter attack that brought Sidcup their third try with a cross field kick falling into the hands of second row Dominic McGeekie who scored unopposed. Twyford narrowed the score to 30-22 to set up a tense final ten minutes. Mortimer steadied the nerves with his fourth penalty of the afternoon on 75 minutes and although Sidcup won a penalty from the kick off, the home side repelled their attack, turned the ball over and went the length of the field in response, Harry Sawford-Smith halted illegally five metres from the line. Winger Luke Sheridan was sin binned, Bedford Athletic chose a scrum and an afternoon when they had thoroughly dominated this particular set piece finally paid dividends when they drove Sidcup over their own line for Andy Ince to touch down. Mortimer added the conversion with the final kick of the game.

Bedford Athletic will look to maintain their good home form with the visit of Shelford this Friday with a 7.30pm kick off under lights at Putnoe Wood.