Derby 22 Bedford Athletic 26

Bedford Athletic won their first away game of the season by 26 points to 22 on the road at Derby.

The result maintains a perfect start to the season with 3 wins from 3 matches and although the tries were also shared three apiece, on this occasion it was the goalkicking of Leo Mortimer that made the difference as he converted three penalties to keep the visitors ahead on the scoreboard.

Bedford Athletic led 13-8 at half time having opened the scoring with an unconverted Liam Walsh try. Derby levelled matters at 5 points a piece before Mortimer’s first penalty put the visitors ahead again. Derby replied in kind and it was a Steve Smith try that saw Bedford Athletic take an advantage into the break.

Crucially the visitors scored first at the start of the second half courtesy of a penalty try and although a converted Derby try made the score 20-15, a second Mortimer penalty restored an eight point advantage. Scores were quickly exchanged again with another converted try and a Mortimer penalty on the board by the 52nd minute meaning there was no further scoring in the final half hour of the match. Further chances did fall the way of the visitors though with four kickable penalties in the final twenty minutes. Bedford Athletic were unsuccessfully chasing the bonus point try and unfortunately none of these chances were converted into points but nevertheless the side had done enough to earn a first away win in Derby since 2014 by the final whistle.

Bedford Athletic return home on Saturday to take on yet another unbeaten side in Dronfield with a 3pm kick off at Putnoe Wood.