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Blues & Lightning: Loughborough make it three in a row with Sharks win

We round up all the action from Northampton Saints’ partner club, Bedford Blues, and our joint Saints / Loughborough Lightning side in the Championship and Premier 15s competitions… 

Lightning’s run continues as Sharks are tamed 

It is now six wins from the last seven games for Loughborough Lightning in the Allianz Premier 15s as they secured a comfortable 32-3 victory against Sale Sharks at Heywood Road. 

The competition’s top try scorer, Lark Davies, added to her tally by scoring a brace in the North West, as the Lightning lifted themselves up to sixth in the table. 

It took just two minutes for them to get off the mark, Sadia Kabeya breaking through before off-loading for lock Lilli Ives-Campion to score. 

Loughborough then lost Davies to a blood injury and while she was off the field, Sale’s Hollie Bawden earned the hosts a penalty at the breakdown, which was kicked by Lizzie Duffy. 

That turned out to be the Sharks’ only points of the match and even those were soon cancelled out, as fly-half Helena Rowland sent through a penalty of her own to increase the gap to 8-3. 

Davies returned to the field soon after and the England hooker got herself on the scoresheet just before half-time, with Rowland’s conversion sending the Lightning in 15-3 to the good at the break. 

It took until the final 20 minutes for them to really pull away, with one chance going begging when a pass by Fran Goldthorp travelled forward, after the winger had made a searing break. 

On the hour mark, however, Davies scored her second when she was helped over the line by her forwards and that was effectively game over. 

The bonus point was secured after 68 minutes when Rowland cut a superb running line to go over before Kabeya rounded off an impressive performance by scoring Loughborough’s fifth try with seven minutes left. 

Lightning now have a week off before their next fixture, against Exeter Chiefs, which will be played at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens in a Double Header of fixtures after Northampton Saints’ Gallagher Premiership fixture against Sale Sharks on Saturday 19 February. Tickets for the clash are on sale now from £20 adult / £8 child HERE.

Bedford's tough 2022 continues with Knights loss 

Bedford Blues came away from a tough Championship fixture against Doncaster Knights with nothing to show for their efforts, as they were defeated 24-0 at Castle Park. 

There were three players from Northampton Saints in Bedford’s squad, with Connor Tupai and Ed Prowse in the starting line-up, while Geordie Irvine was to make his debut for them off the bench. 

This match had been rearranged from New Year’s Day, when Covid-19 cases and front row injuries in the Blues’ squad had forced it to be postponed. 

Doncaster dominated possession in the first half, and the visitors’ defence did well to keep them to one score, which came about in the 27th minute. 

Hooker George Roberts spun off the back of a driving maul and passed the ball out for fly-half Billy McBryde to go over for a try Alex Dolly converted. 

The score remained 7-0 to the Knights at half-time, although they had had Maliq Holden sent to the sin bin for killing the ball close to his own try line five minutes before the break. 

Blues couldn’t make the most of their one-man advantage, however, and they lost Joey Conway to a yellow card just as Holden returned to the field, and this turned out to be far more costly. 

Dolly kicked the resulting penalty from Conway’s infringement before Doncaster pulled even further clear when a long pass by McBryde found Connor Edwards, who popped the ball inside for his fellow centre Joe Margetts to score under the posts. 

McBryde then had his second try with an hour played as Dolly intercepted a Bedford pass before turning to put his No.10 through. 

Doncaster had former Blue Joe Wrafter sin-binned in the final minute, but the visitors ended the match, which was played in wet and windy conditions, scoreless. 

It doesn’t get any easier for Mike Rayer’s side on Saturday, as they travel to Vallis Way to take on league leaders Ealing Trailfinders. 

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