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Blues: Saints duo on scoresheet as Bedford upset league leaders

We round up all the action from our joint partner side Bedford Blues in the Championship competition… 

Blues topple league leaders to end losing run

Bedford Blues toppled Championship leaders Ealing Trailfinders 31-19 on Saturday, handing their hosts their first regular season defeat at Vallis Way for over two years. 

It was Bedford’s first victory of 2022, as they rediscovered the form that saw them upset Ealing’s fellow promotion chasers Doncaster and Jersey earlier in the campaign. 

Five Saints were in the Blues’ matchday squad, with Connor Tupai, Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, and Ollie Newman in their starting line-up and Ed Prowse and Dani Long-Martinez among the replacements. 

Coming into this match off the back of four straight defeats, plenty of the travelling Bedford fans will have been forgiven for thinking the clash was going to go to form when Ealing opened the scoring after four minutes. 

A break by centre Matt Gordon set up the chance for the hosts and it was finished by lock Simon Linsell stretching over the line, with Steven Shingler adding the conversion. 

Blues’ bounced back swiftly, however, as Dean Adamson carved his way through Trailfinders’ defence before offloading for Matt Worley to go over. 

Louis Grimoldby couldn’t convert and there was still little sign of what was to follow when Jan-Henning Campher was driven over for Ealing’s second try in the 18th minute, which gave the hosts a 14-5 lead. 

Bedford’s response from this point was simply magnificent and they reduced the gap to two points at the break when Newman powered his way past three defenders on his way to the line. 

Three minutes after the restart, his Northampton clubmate Hobbs-Awoyemi put the Blues ahead for the first time when he grounded the ball off the back of a driving maul for an unconverted try. 

Home supporters expecting a quick response from Ealing were left stunned after 50 minutes, as the visitors added a bonus-point score. 

It came from another driving maul, with hooker – and former Saint – Jack Hughes this time the beneficiary of his forwards’ power and Grimoldby’s conversion opened up a 24-14 lead. 

The hosts did manage a reply just before the hour mark as Gordon broke through, but Craig Willis’ missed conversion meant the gap was still five points. 

Bedford were not done ripping up the script though, and they were over for their fifth try with ten minutes remaining. 

A series of close-range drives led to the ball being moved out to another former Saint Jamie Elliott and the centre dived over in the corner. 

Grimoldby’s conversion set the seal on an outstanding result for the Blues, who will look to raise their game again on Saturday when they welcome third-placed Cornish Pirates to Goldington Road.

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