Bedford Athletic finished the year with a comfortable 98-0 win at home to Bugbrooke.
The star of the match was James Mortimer who set a personal record of 33 points in the game, closely followed by Andy Ince with 4 tries, with a special mention for Stephen Woodhead who scored his 100th and 101st tries for the first XV.
Bedford Athletic secured possession from the kick off and quickly had their visitors under pressure with the first try of the day coming in the third minute when Josh Cassell crossed in the corner. James Mortimer kicked the first of 14 successful conversions, another club record for a first team league game, for an early 7-0 lead. The try of the match followed in the eighth minute as forwards and backs combined across the park to stretch the visiting defence and allow Harry Sawford Smith to be the eventual beneficiary for the score. There followed Bugbrooke’s most attacking period of the game and they nearly scored when Ben Mann burst on to the ball through the defensive line but was hauled down just short of the line. When Bugbrooke kicked the ball dead from the next attack, Bedford Athletic’s response was immediate as they ran the length of the field for Stephen Woodhead to give Sawford Smith the scoring pass. With the Bugbrooke defence already tiring it was his centre partner David Simpson who got the 4th and bonus point try on 24 minutes and James Mortimer who crossed on 27 minutes as he spotted a gap in the visiting defence to dart through and beat the cover tackle to the line. A lack of accuracy then slowed the home side’s momentum and the game meandered until the home pack eventually got on top of their visitors in their 22, ultimately pushing them off their own scrum ball which allowed No.8 Andy Ince to pick up and score the try that gave Bedford Athletic a 42-0 lead at half time.
Andy Ince was to the fore again at the start of the second half as he won vital turnover ball that allowed Bedford Athletic to start the move to relieve the pressure they had been under from the kick off. This was eventually achieved with a clearing kick from David Simpson. Ince was then prominent in attack as he carried the ball strongly from a home line-out that led to the first try of the second half as he barged over the line on 46 minutes. He repeated this dose four minutes later to complete a try hat trick inside ten minutes as Bedford Athletic led 56-0. The try the team had been waiting for arrived on 52 minutes as Stephen Woodhead broke through the defence from a set line-out play and then outpaced two cover defenders to score his 100th try for the team. David Simpson added the team’s tenth try of the day on 56 minutes before Woodhead again got in on the act as he collected a cross field kick from Mortimer to wrong foot the full back to score. The lead was now 77-0 with 14 minutes left to play and the home team had time for three more tries. Andy Ince muscled his way over for his fourth try of the day, substitute scrum half Mike Trigg dummied the defence to snipe round the corner of a ruck and Josh Cassell completed what he had started 80 minutes earlier when he latched on to Simpson’s pass to complete the 98-0 scoreline.
Cancellations elsewhere see Bedford Athletic end the calendar year in second place in the league, four points behind leaders Syston and with a match at home to Huntingdon to come on January 6th 2018.