Bridgnorth 13 Bedford Athletic 6

Bedford Athletic battled hard at Bridgnorth before going down to a 13 points to 6 defeat.

In a game of few chances, it was Bridgnorth who converted theirs although a losing bonus point was the minimum that Bedford Athletic deserved in a close contest.

The visitors started brightly and controlled territory and possession in the early stages. Steve Smith once again deputising at fly half with James Mortimer still injured, missed an early penalty but was successful minutes later to give Bedford Athletic a 3-0 lead. Bridgnorth hit back hard and dogged defence was needed to keep them at bay with the back row of Rob Watkins, Jake Foster and Andy Ince excelling. There was some respite when Bridgnorth scrum half Gareth Bladen was sin binned in the 24th minute for a punch but the home side cleverly dominated possession through his ten minute absence depriving Athletic the opportunity to benefit from their greater numbers. On his return Bridgnorth finally scored through a rolling maul with prop Ed John touching down. Llew Williams converted, but Bedford Athletic had the final say in the half with another Smith penalty reducing the gap to a single point at half time.

Bridgnorth began the second half at an increased tempo but the first scoring chance went the visitor’s way when Smith intercepted and his long kick through was nearly seized upon by winger Stephen Woodhead although he wasn’t able to control the ball. With the odd exception such as this the game was being played mainly in the middle of the pitch with Bridgnorth’s aggression in defence and strong pick and drive game starting to give them the edge. As a result Williams was able to kick further penalties on 54 and 62 minutes to increase the lead, however the closing stages were dominated by Bedford Athletic. A strong run from Woodhead earned them field position in the Bridgnorth 22 and from there they battered away at the home line. Twice they crossed and grounded the ball through James Wallace and David Simpson but on each occasion the referee was in the wrong position and unable to see either score. Eventually the visitors were unable to create a third score in their attempt to draw level and ran out of time with only a bonus point to show for their efforts.

Bedford Athletic are at home to Broadstreet this Saturday with a 2.15pm kick off.