Guernsey 43 Bedford Athletic 3

Bedford Athletic were comprehensively beaten away to league leaders Guernsey by 43 points to 3.

Their hosts scored seven tries and dominated all facets of the game as Bedford Athletic proved unable to end their losing streak away from home this season.

Guernsey started the game in control of possession but an excellent turnover by Ryan Taylor earned Bedford Athletic a penalty which Leo Mortimer kicked for three points in the opening minutes. Guernsey came straight back at their visitors and went through multiple phases before Doug Horrocks crashed over, the try being converted by Owen Thomas in the tenth minute. The home side should have scored again when they worked winger Anthony Armstrong into space but he knocked the ball on. Bedford Athletic were largely on the defensive and it took strong work at a ruck on their own line for Michael Trigg and Freddie Boyce to turn the ball over. When they did win possession they took a strange decision to run from a quick tap penalty but the pass wasn’t accurate and a knock on gave Guernsey a scrum. This led to their second try in the 25th minute as Thomas broke down the blind side and his pass put Armstrong over. Bedford Athletic had a further penalty kick at goal on 31 minutes but this time the ball sailed wide. Two minutes later Guernsey were behind the defence again but Matt Armstrong spilt the ball in contact. He made up for this error before half time as missed tackles again provided the home side with a scoring opportunity and he was able to touch down for the try. Thomas converted to give Guernsey a 19-3 half time lead at the end of 40 minutes in which Bedford Athletic hardly ventured out of their own half.

A superb tackle by Stephen Woodhead in the corner saved a certain try right at the start of the second half but the visitors were soon under pressure again. Knocking the ball on when trying to break out of defence put Guernsey back in control and they were soon held up over the line. Two scrum penalties kept the pressure on and eventually Horrocks was over again for the bonus point try. The scoring spree was halted when the same player was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle on 53 minutes and a Stephen Woodhead break took Bedford Athletic into their hosts half for the first time. They couldn’t maintain the pressure and a penalty soon returned them back to their own territory. Once Horrocks returned Guernsey were yet again held up over the line before they spread the ball wide for Joe Andresen to score in the corner on 67 minutes. A brief period of possession proved fruitless for the visitors as they failed to reach their hosts 22 and Guernsey closed the game out in the final 5 minutes with two further tries, one for each winger, Andresen and Armstrong. Thomas kicked two further conversions in the second half.

A week’s break for Bedford Athletic now precedes an East Midlands cup game away to Peterborough Lions before league action returns to Putnoe Wood with the visit of Tunbridge Wells on 21st March, both games kicking off at 3.00pm.