Oundle 27 Bedford Athletic 24

A last minute penalty deprived Bedford Athletic of a deserved draw in a 27-24 defeat away to Oundle. An even contest swung one way and then the other throughout the afternoon but it was Oundle who eventually took the opportunity to secure the win.

Oundle opened the scoring with a penalty kicked by Ben Young in the sixth minute before Leo Mortimer replied in kind for Bedford Athletic. The opening try also went Oundle’s way and it was Harry Winch who went over with Young converting in the tenth minute. Bedford Athletic were growing into the match and it was the visitors who would score the next two tries. A fine passing move ended with captain Jake Foster crossing for his side’s opening try on 23 minutes. On the half hour Leo Mortimer recognized that his side were playing with penalty advantage and his precise cross field kick fell to wing Ed Parker for a try that with Mortimer’s conversion saw the team take the lead for the first time at 15 points to 10. This lead was not to last through to half time with Grant Snelling powering over for an Oundle try as they used their maul in heavy conditions to good effect. Young’s conversion gave the home side a 17-15 half time lead.

It was Oundle who scored again early in the second half this time wing Logan Noble touched down for the score. Young’s conversion opening up a nine point gap. The wet conditions were slowly starting to strangle the game and although Bedford Athletic were firmly in the contest, scoring opportunities began to be at a premium. When the opportunity presented itself the visitors therefore took the points on offer with Leo Mortimer first narrowing the gap and then drawing the team level with penalties in the 48th, 65th and 69th minute. The visiting side even had a chance to win the match when a backs move broke down just short of the line. In the end it was probably their own adventure that undid them. Playing the ball away from an advancing scrum, the move broke down with a loose pass in midfield and Oundle countered with determination. Two penalties in quick succession saw them in front of the posts and 40 metres out with the final kick of the game which duly sailed over from the boot of Young to secure the win.

Another losing bonus point edges Bedford Athletic fourteen points clear of the relegation zone with four matches left to play. The matter is still very much in their own hands and the side can take a big leap toward safety if they can defeat Tring for the first time when they host their opponents at Putnoe Wood in two Saturdays time with a 3pm kick off.