A dominant second half performance saw Bedford Athletic defeat Bugbrooke by 60 points to 18.
With the scores tied at 13 points apiece at half time, Bedford Athletic scored 7 tries in the second 40 minutes to pull away from their hosts and run out comfortable winners.
Bedford Athletic took the lead in the third minute when Charlie Darlow was on hand to touch down a Stephen Woodhead kick ahead for the opening try, James Mortimer converting. Laurence Baxendale kicked a penalty in response for the hosts. He nearly added a second minutes later but was just wide with his effort as Bedford Athletic struggled to get any fluency into their game as they started to run up a high penalty count. Mortimer did kick one for the visitors on 18 minutes but from the kick off another penalty gave Bugbrooke field position and this time from a lineout Ben Mann ran a good line to score the opening try for the hosts. Baxendale converted and ill discipline was to cost the visitors further when Baxendale gave Bugbrooke the lead with a penalty on 24 minutes. With a sensible kicking game aided by a strong breeze at their backs, Bugbrooke were controlling the encounter. It was to Bedford Athletics’ credit that they defended well in their own 22, started to dominate in the scrum and began to keep their composure under pressure to reduce Bugbrooke’s scoring chances. They were rewarded at the end of the half when James Mortimer kicked his second penalty of the day to level the scores at 13-all.
Bedford Athletic started the second half in a completely different fashion. Nick Thomas secured the kick off, the team ran through the phases and having stretched the home defence, Jake Foster was on hand to finish the score without Bugbrooke yet to touch the ball in the half. Mortimer converted the try and minutes later his penalty hit the post almost allowing Andy Ince the chance to ground the ball for a try but he was held up over the line. Although Bedford Athletic then splintered the home scrummage the referee was not in the mood to reward their dominance and Bugbrooke looked to have cleared their lines until Stephen Woodhead ran the clearance kick back through the entire side for his first try of the day. As Bedford Athletic now began to dominate possession and territory Josh Cassell crossed for the bonus point try on 53 minutes, and when Mortimer intercepted the ball three minutes later the visitors created their best try of the day when a perfectly weighted kick from Harry Sawford-Smith allowed Woodhead to touch down again. On 62 minutes another length of the field break was finished off by captain Rob Watkins and from the restart a fine handling move involving good interchanges and offloads between forwards and backs finally saw prop forward Josh McCann score in the corner. Ben Mann did reply with a second try for Bugbrooke but Woodhead had the final say on the day’s proceedings when he capitalised on a loose passage of play that saw various interceptions but ended with him scoring his hat trick try under the posts. James Mortimer converted this final try and seven of the other eight to add to two penalties giving him a personal haul of 20 points in the game.
Bedford Athletic stay on the road this coming Saturday when they travel to near neighbours Huntingdon with a 3pm kick off.