Bedford Athletic advanced to the semi finals of the Bedfordshire Cup with a 93-0 win at Stockwood Park.
They scored 15 tries, including hat tricks for hooker Liam Walsh and winger James Gardner and James Mortimer contributed 18 points from the boot.
There were early errors from both sides before Bedford Athletic opened the scoring with the first try on 4 minutes. James Mortimer put Charlie Darlow into space and then converted the try himself. The lead was doubled on ten minutes when the forwards rumbled a lineout catch and drive over the line for the captain for the evening Ben Middleton to touch down, Mortimer again converting for a 14-0 lead. Seven minutes later the visitors scored again when hard work by Sven Meiland saw him steal the ball in the tackle and once play was switched quickly to the opposite wing James Gardner found himself in space to score. Mortimer’s conversion made it 21-0. Despite scoring three quick tries Bedford Athletic were spurning chances typified by Stuart Livesey failing to regather the ball when he chipped ahead but then knocked on with no one to beat. It was left to the forwards to grind out the fourth try which they duly did with another catch and drive routine delivering the first try of the night for Walsh. They too were not immune from error and a subsequent catch and drive was penalised for blocking but the scoring momentum was restored when the visitors drove the home pack off their own scrum ball and Mortimer opened up the defence with a scything run. He could perhaps have scored himself but he offloaded to Tu Christie who instead scored on his debut for the first team. Liam Walsh added two more tries before half time and with Mortimer kicking three further conversions the half time score was Stockwood Park 0 Bedford Athletic 47.
Bedford Athletic started the second half strongly, direct running from Stefan Hughes-Brand delivering the eighth try in the 42nd minute. Another scrum turnover produced the ninth try when David Simpson ran hard at the defence to cross the line for the score. Thereafter the intensity and application of Bedford Athletic seemed to drop. The game was noticeably affected by a heavy dew but a lack of concentration also seemed to contribute to forward passes, dropped balls, ignored overlaps and a five metre scrum that drove the home pack over their own line without anyone remembering to touch the ball down. Two tries were scored in this period as James Gardner finished off a wide move following incessant forward pressure and Robbie Locke sniped over from another advancing scrum. Once Gardner completed his hat trick with ten minutes to go Bedford Athletic found the momentum to finish the final ten minutes strongly. From the kick off Locke again found time and space and released Simpson for the line from 30 yards out. A series of forward drives then paid dividends for captain Middleton who scored his second try of the day but the final and most popular score came from second team captain and replacement hooker Jay Bolton who charged for the line from 30 yards out in the final minute and may even have sold a dummy to reach it. Mortimer kicked three conversions in the second half to make the final score 93-0.
Following a weekend’s break, Bedford Athletic return to league action on Saturday 25th November away to Nottingham side Paviors.