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...
Bedford fought back from an early deficit but ultimately a spell of late ill-discipline cost them as they suffered their first home defeat since December 2019 this weekend, falling narrowly to Jersey Reds at Goldington Road.
Jersey quickly built up a ten-point lead but from there Blues sparked into life and Tommy Mathews landed three easy points before the home side scored twice quickly through Ryan Olowofela and skipper Rich Lane.
Mathews’ two conversions gave Bedford the lead but Reds levelled things and then pushed back ahead with a penalty just before the break. The scoring slowed in the second half, but as Bedford saw yellow three times, Jersey extended their lead with a 70th-minute try. While Bedford’s Will Maisey clawed back a losing bonus point for his side with a late penalty, Jersey had already done enough to secure the win.
Bedford’s starting line up was bolstered by nine Saints; James Fish, Ed Prowse, Lewis Bean, Oli Newman and Tui Uru all packed down at Goldington Road while Mathews, Reuben Bird-Tulloch, Olowofela and Tom Litchfield all started the game amongst the backs – with the latter making his debut in the Blue shirt.
Jersey were without a win in the Championship as they headed to Bedford and the away side got off to the perfect start, sending a penalty through the posts early doors before crossing the whitewash to give themselves a ten-point lead 24 minutes in.
Bedford sparked into life after Mathews sent a penalty of his own through the sticks and the side went end to end as Bird-Tulloch broke through Jersey’s line and set Olowofela free. And just minutes later, Blues were over again, whipping the ball quickly through the backs to put captain Lane over for their second.
Mathews’ two conversions gave Bedford a 17-10 lead, but Jersey hit back immediately and sent a driving maul over the line to level things before adding a penalty to their tally just before the half-time whistle.
But two yellow cards to Bedford in the second 40 cost them and Jersey pushed further ahead with another try out wide. And though Maisey earned his side a losing bonus point with a late penalty, Blues had left themselves too much to do to claw back the win.
Bedford now enjoy a bye weekend before getting ready to make the trip to Saracens in two weeks’ time.