Luton 0 Bedford Athletic 84

Bedford Athletic reached the final of the Bedfordshire Cup with an 84-0 victory away to Luton.

Twelve tries were recorded during the course of the evening and remarkably they were all converted by Leo Mortimer who finished the night with 24 points and a 100% kicking record.

The early signs were good for the visitors as they imposed their physicality on their opponents and the forwards rumbled through the Luton defence to set up the opening try for Josh Smith on four minutes. Thereafter Bedford Athletic struggled to maintain this intensity. Too often runners ran away from their support or players arrived too eagerly at the breakdown and a string of penalties began to give Luton field position. The match may have taken a different course if Luton had made the most of a lineout 5 metres from the visitor’s line but they threw short to the front and were penalised for a crooked throw. Once Bedford Athletic cleared their lines they set up another driving maul in opposition territory and this time it was Ben Thompson who benefited as he touched down for his first try for the club on 22 minutes. The next ten minutes saw Bedford Athletic in the ascendancy but spurning chances. A lineout catch and drive chance was lost due to a dropped ball, and two five metre scrummages powered over the Luton line only for the ball to be adjudged to be held up over the try line both times. Wisely the forwards finally gave up these somewhat ineffective efforts and the next scrum saw the ball fed down the back line and Stuart Livesey scythed through the defence for his first try of the night on 33 minutes. Having worked hard for one try a second soon followed as Rob Watkins burst clear of the defence to set Robbie Locke on a straight line to the posts on 36 minutes, and Bedford Athletic made the most of possession at the end of the half for Ben Thompson to crash over for his second try just before the break. Mortimer’s unerringly accurate boot made the score 35-0 at half time.

The second half began with the referee adjudging that the Luton front row could no longer safely contain the contest in the scrums, therefore ordering that they become uncontested. In reality there were no scrums until Bedford Athletic had scored a further two tries, David Simpson dotting down in the 41st minute and Stuart Livesey in the 44th. The pace of the Bedford Athletic game had by now become too much for the home side and if the scrummage had been neutralised, the visitors continued to choke off the home lineout depriving them of a vital source of possession. Josh McCann demonstrated his threat in loose play with two tries in the 48th and 58th minutes having come off the bench at half time and the scoring continued with a pacy support run from Stephen Woodhead in the 62nd minute. Not everything went the visitor’s way as a string of errors then held up any further scoring until from a five metre scrum Woodhead fed Livesey to score his hat trick try in the corner. Not to be overawed Mortimer kicked a sensational touchline conversion to maintain his 100% record and he also converted the final try of the night when Ryan Taylor broke through the defence to find Woodhead in support for the twelfth try.

Bedford Athletic next face a mix of league and cup action as they travel to Northampton Old Scouts this Saturday for a match that doubles as both a Midlands One East league encounter and an East Midlands Cup Semi Final.