Bedford Athletic completed an unbeaten home league season with a 68 points to 19 win over Towcestrians.
In total they scored ten tries in the match, with five in each half to underline their overall dominance of the game.
Bedford Athletic had secured the try bonus point just ten minutes into the match as Towcestrians failed to come to terms with any aspect of the play in this opening period. Harry Sawford-Smith caught the kick off and Michael Trigg was on hand to cross unopposed for the first try on 27 seconds.
Three times Towcestrians kicked off and on three occasions failed to deal with the ball being run back hard at them, with tackles missed and the defence all at sea allowing Sawford-Smith, Luke Denham and Rob Watkins to cross for further tries, three of which were converted by Leo Mortimer. The absence of a challenge did not help the home side and they soon became slightly chaotic in their play, losing structure and succumbing to mistakes and this allowed their visitors to build a foothold in the game.
Eventually, Towcestrians forced a goal-line drop out and retaining possession, brought the ball back at their hosts with speed, spreading the ball wide for wing Adam Wilkinson to score. Further penalties allowed Towcestrians into the 22 once more and this time it was a 5 metre lineout catch and drive that did the damage with prop forward Andrew Simm crossing for the try, Pepe Nanci’s conversion narrowing the gap to 26-12 after 24 minutes. With the kick off not going the required 10 metre distance and a scrum on half way leading to another penalty, the visitors should have had a third try. This time they failed to secure their attacking 5 metre lineout and their hosts cleared the danger. Forcing penalties of their own Bedford Athletic carried play deep into Towcestrians’ half and their lineout catch and drive suffered no malfunctions as Adam Harris crossed for his side’s 5th try. Bedford Athletic led 33-12 at half time.
Bedford Athletic started the second half in a far more composed frame of mind and improved both their ball handling and their speed of play. It quickly became difficult for their visitors to live with the increased tempo and although Lewis Sharp was brought down just short of the try line, once the home side had a chance to regroup and attack from the resultant scrum, prop Ryan Taylor was on hand to score his ninth try of the season. The attacks kept coming and as the visitors ran out of defenders, twice Josh Cassell was on hand to finish off moves to bring up his 16th and 17th tries of the season. Leo Mortimer kept kicking conversions to make the score 54-12 on the hour mark. Towcestrians did earn some respite when a defensive clearance was charged down and this allowed them a series of scrums close to the home side’s line which they eventually profited from with Peter Gowler touching down for the try. However amidst a sterling defensive effort, Bedford Athletic continued to take their chances. Luke Denham broke free down the left wing and although his kick ahead went into touch, Rob Watkins stole the defensive line out and barged over for the try. Another turnover ball brought the final try of the day as backs and forwards carried hard with Robbie Locke, Charlie Darlow and Sawford-Smith getting over the gain line as they did throughout the match before Tom Allwright finished off the move for the tenth try. Mortimer added the conversions for tries nine and ten.
The final league game of the season is away to West Bridgford on Saturday 23rd April with a 3.00pm kick off.