Bedford Athletic 70 Thurston 19

The Bedford Athletic second team maintained their unbeaten home record in Counties Two Eastern Counties with a 70 points to 19 victory over Thurston.

This was a match that they dominated throughout and in which they probably should have scored more points than they did. This was emphasised in the opening stages when having turned the ball over at the visitor’s scrum put in, Robbie Taylor was held up over the line following his side’s first attack of the afternoon. Harry Robson slotted the first points shortly afterwards with a penalty. When the Bedford Athletic scrum once again shoved their opponents off their own ball, fly half Tom Orton got his back line moving and the ball made its way wide to outside centre Lewis Lancaster to score in the corner, Robson converting from the touch line. Robbie Taylor was held up over the line again before some direct running from Lancaster saw him break through and run beyond the visiting defence for his second try this time not converted by Robson for a 15-0 lead on 20 minutes. Thurston responded with their first attack of the day and having punched hard through the centre of the home defence they spread the ball wide only for their winger to drop the ball in acres of space. Strong runs from Robbie Taylor and Harry Robson then helped relieve the pressure and the move ended with Liam Walsh being held up over the line. From the goal line drop out, Bedford Athletic ran back hard at the visiting defence with Ben Brown crossing for his first try of the day. From a lineout steal, Bedford Athletic were once again able to attack up the left wing and it was winger Jack Nelson who finished the move for the bonus point try as Bedford Athletic led 25-0 at half time.

Early in the second half a strong carry from Ryley Longmuir saw him hauled down just short of the line with fly half Orton on hand to finish the move off, escaping the clutches of the last defenders to touch down. Although Robson converted, Thurston regathered the kick off and finally attacked with purpose which eventually led to their hard running inside centre Edward Ballam crossing the line for their opening score. The Bedford Athletic pressure continued to lead to tries with Thurston standing off captain Cameron Brough to allow him to smash over from an attacking lineout following a searing break by scrum half Tana Stenson, Tom Bowman finished off the next try and Robbie Taylor finally got on the scoresheet following good work by Brough to make the score 49-5 on the hour mark. Erran Singh-Soomal became the fourth Bedford Athletic player to be held up over the line during the course of the afternoon. A deft kick ahead from Stenson led to a try for wing Paul Anderson on 66 minutes and then Ben Brown ran through and round a tiring visiting defence for the tenth try on 68 minutes.

Thurston remained inventive at the restarts and having gathered the next one, went through a series of phases before another barn storming run from Ballam created the space for his fellow centre Declan Oakley to score, fly half Keelan Murrell converting. Tana Stenson did eventually score the try that his afternoon’s endeavours deserved in the 78th minute with Harry Robson kicking his sixth conversion of the afternoon but the final say went to Thurston with fly half Murrell chipping over the defence and collecting his own kick to run clear for their third score which he himself converted.

The win moves Bedford Athletic 2s up to second place in their league with the final game in the first half of their season coming away to Shelford 3s this Saturday.