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Blues & Lightning: Loughborough seal back-to-back wins

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… 

Bedford leave it late to see off Scottish 

Bedford Blues bounced back from their disappointing loss at Coventry last week, but only just, as Jack Hughes’ late try gave them a 24-19 victory over London Scottish in the Championship. 

There were five players from Northampton Saints in Bedford’s squad, with Tom Litchfield, Connor Tupai and Ed Prowse all in the starting line-up and Josh Gillespie and Ollie Newman among the replacements. 

Loosehead prop Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi was also due to be involved but had to pull out through injury after the warm-up by Joey Conway. 

It looked as though it was going to be a comfortable afternoon for the Blues, who went ahead after 19 minutes when former Saint went over in the corner after the ball went through the hands of Rich Lane and Dean Adamson. 

Will Maisey converted and the lead was extended when hooker Hughes dived in spectacularly for his first try of the afternoon. 

Scottish then lost Harry Sheppard to the sin bin for a high tackle on Tupai and Bedford made the most of their man advantage when Worley gathered Maisey’s cross field kick to grab his second. 

The Exiles did manage to pull the score back to 19-5 before half-time through Javiah Pohe’s unconverted try and, as conditions at Goldington Road worsened, their comeback intensified in the second half. 

They were helped along the way by Bedford being reduced to 13 men, as Robin Williams and Newman, the latter for a deliberate knock-on, were both shown yellow cards in quick succession. 

The visitors being awarded a penalty try set nerves jangling further and Scottish went on to level the scores with 11 minutes left when Cameron King went through a gap to score. 

Sheppard missed the chance to put the visitors in front, as his conversion slid wide, and they suffered a further blow when James Tyas was sin-binned for collapsing a maul. 

With the Exiles’ pack a man light, Bedford snatched victory back against the division’s bottom team in the 78th minute when Hughes was driven over by a rolling maul. 

Banana skin avoided, the Blues now have a bye week before returning to action when they welcome Jersey Reds to their patch on Boxing Day. 

Davies at the double as Lightning win again 

Loughborough Lightning made it back-to-back wins in the Women’s Premier 15s for the first time this season as they eased to a 27-0 victory against Sale Sharks at Epinal Way. 

The Lightning hit the front after early pressure when lock Emma Wassell burst through a gap to score under the posts, giving Helena Rowland an easy conversion. 

Fly-half Rowland then increased the lead to 10-0 with a penalty and this was how the score remained until half-time. 

But the advantage soon became a match-winning one in the second half, as Davies was driven over twice in the space of 10 minutes, as Sale’s discipline deserted them. 

Loughborough saved arguably their best try until last, as they secured the bonus point when a lovely switch led to Rowland going in under the posts after the hosts had gone through the phases. 

It will be a tough ask for them to make it three in a row this weekend, however, as they host league leaders Bristol Bears, who have only lost once so far this season. 

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