Bedford Athletic were swept aside by Dorking going down 50 points to nil in the Surrey Hills.
This was the team’s biggest defeat for 8 years going back to a 53-3 reverse to Syston in October 2010.
Early pressure from Dorking was defended well and with the slope and the wind in their favour Bedford Athletic started to grow in confidence and take the game to the home side. A well deployed kicking game kept the home team pinned back and this pressure led to penalties with James Mortimer missing a kick at goal in the 20th minute. This nearly worked in Bedford Athletics’ favour as from the restart Steve Smith found space, James Yates carried the move on and he would have put Michael Trigg in for the try but for a forward pass. A robust contest was eventually tipped the way of the home team when their scrum half slapped the ball out of Tom Orton’s hands and with the referee failing to spot the offence the ball was spread wide against a disorganised defence with centre Oliver Hutson crossing in the corner on the half hour mark. Dorking doubled their lead just before half time when a clever chip out of defence put centre Fraser MacDonald in the clear and he made 40 yards before feeding fly half Matt Noble to finish off the scoring chance. Dorking led 10-0 at half time.
Having lost influential captain Rob Watkins to injury at half time Bedford Athletic were overrun in the second period. The half started with the Dorking right wing Tom Hunt kicking deep into space behind the defence and touching down for the try with no visiting player within 20 yards of him. Noble converted and the home side now began to run through their visitors like a knife through butter. Scoring chances more often went abegging due to the wet conditions than any real pressure from the Athletic defence and tries followed in the 49th, 52nd and 61st minutes through Hutson, wing Ben Hatton and No.8 Joel Grant touching down at the back of a scrum advancing over the visitor’s line, which had been awarded when Bedford Athletic were too slow to clear the ball from the base of a ruck. The latter two were converted by Noble for a 36-0 lead. There were sterling efforts in a rear-guard action from Yates and Ben Thompson in the forwards and David Simpson and Steve Smith continued to marshall the visiting backs throughout. The final two tries came from the visitor’s errors deep in their own 22 the final one being a failure to hook their own put in at a scrum with home scrum half Malcolm Till darting over for the score adding to Jean-Pierre Alberts earlier effort. Noble’s conversions gave him 5 for the day. Bedford Athletic very nearly had the final say when Simpson broke free and Paul Anderson was just unable to cling on to what would have been a scoring pass in the corner with the final move of the match.
Having lost their first six matches Bedford Athletic now have a week’s break to rest, ease the injuries and refocus on what is required to compete in this league before taking on Sidcup at home on Saturday 20th October.