We round up all the action from Northampton Saints’ partner club – Bedford Blues – in their latest match in the Championship…
Bedford Blues fell to a frustrating 17-15 defeat against Midlands rivals Coventry at Goldington Road last Friday night in what was their last home Championship game of the season.
It was the second time in the campaign they have been narrowly beaten by Cov, with Mike Rayer’s side left to rue missed opportunities in the closing stages.
Bedford were coming off an impressive win at Nottingham two weeks previously, but they were on the back foot in the opening exchanges, thanks to a succession of penalties being awarded against them.
Referee Sara Cox lost patience in the ninth minute, awarding a penalty try to Coventry when a maul was dragged down close to Blues’ line, with Luke Frost sin-binned as a result.
The hosts responded well with 14 men and pulled back three points through Louis Grimoldby’s penalty.
The stream of penalties kept coming, though, and only some heroic defending off a set-piece prevented Cov from scoring their second try of the night.
In the 31st minute, completely against the run of play, Bedford pulled ahead following a brilliant counter, in which Grimoldby’s cross-field kick was gathered by Dean Adamson, who surged past several covering defenders to score.
Grimoldby’s conversion put the Blues 10-7 in front, a lead they held until half-time, but one they lost just three minutes after the restart.
Following yet another maul set up from an attacking line-out, the hosts this time couldn’t stop Coventry’s pack from rumbling over, with Jordan Poole grounding the ball and Toby Fenner adding the extras.
Blues were starting to have more possession, however, and they hit back again just after the hour mark when some slick handling led to fullback Matt Worley crossing the whitewash.
The try went unconverted and this proved crucial as Fenner put Cov back in front with a penalty after Hobbs-Awoyemi came off his feet at a ruck.
Bedford soon had a chance to take the lead again, but replacement fly-half Will Maisey was off target with what was a tricky penalty from distance.
An even bigger opportunity was then squandered with minutes remaining, as Worley broke through before giving it to Jordan Onojaife, whose attempted pass outside to Adamson didn’t go to hand and the winger couldn’t gather.
In the end, Blues came out on the wrong end of a tight finish, but they have a chance to round off their Championship campaign in style when they travel to London Scottish on Saturday.