With several of Northampton’s hottest prospects either on-loan or dual-registered this season with Saints’ partner club, Bedford Blues, we round up the best of the latest action...
In a gut-wrenching end to Bedford's penultimate game of the season, Nottingham sent over a penalty over in the final play of the match to seal a 22-20 victory on Sunday at Lady Bay.
Blues had quickly gone 7-0 down but fought back to score three times in the second-half through Jordan Onojaife and Saints Josh Gillespie and Jack Hughes and get themselves within reach, before a Will Maisey penalty sent them ahead with just one minute left on the clock.
But the home side held firm and after earning field position through a string of penalties, lined up for the posts in the final play of the game – with Nic Dolly sending the kick over to take the win for Nottingham.
FULL-TIME | Heartbreaking end as @NottinghamRugby take the spoils 🏉— Bedford Blues (@BedfordBluesRFC) May 23, 2021
🔵 Tries from Onojaife, Gillespie and Hughes get us the losing bonus point.
We gave it everything but sadly come up short in a 22-20 defeat. #BluesFamily #differentshadeofblue pic.twitter.com/R62PFhrz8f
With a total of eight Saints in tow as they headed to Nottingham, Bedford's front row had a distinctly Black, Green and Gold feel as Manny Iyogun and Ed Prowse lined up at prop, with Ollie Newman and Tui Uru in the back row behind them. Connor Tupai marshalled the game from scrum-half while Gillespie manned one of Blues' wings and Hughes and Ethan Grayson entered the game from the bench.
In a slow first-half, it was the home side that struck first to take a slender 7-0 advantage into the break; but Bedford's attacking game coming to the fore as the game restarted and when Onojaife got on the end of a superb looping pass from fly-half Maisey, it was Blues who claimed the first points of the second-half.
And while Nottingham responded with a score of their own, Bedford got straight back on the attack with Newman making good ground to set fellow Saint Gillespie free on the hour mark.
Maisey converted Gillespie's effort and though Nottingham hit back again, replacement hooker Hughes' diving score brought the game back within two points.
Blues went in search of a bonus point and pulled themselves ahead for the first time in the game through a Maisey penalty just 60 seconds from the final whistle but an agonising string of penalties gave Nottingham a chance to line up for the posts in the game's dying seconds and home fly-half Dolly made no mistake with his kick to seal the win for the home side.
Bedford must bounce back quickly as they return home for the final time this season to close the campaign against local rivals Ampthill this Saturday (29 May, kick-off 2pm). A limited number of supporters will be welcomed to Goldington Road for the first time this season, for more information visit bedfordrugby.co.uk.