The Fire Service edged to a 29-12 win over the Police in the inaugural Police v Fire Cup at Bedford International Athletic Stadium on Thursday.
Two of the county’s emergency services got together for the first time in years to compete on the rugby field and it is hoped the fixture will now become an annual event.
The Fire Service took an early lead with a penalty and went further ahead with a well-worked forwards try following a superb length-of-the-pitch run from Tom Watson.
Rob Ashton then intercepted an attempted pass to race over, giving the Fire Service a comprehensive 17-0 led after half an hour. Momentum then swung back in the favour of the Police when a sin-bin reduced the Fire Service to 14 men. Andrew Stock took advantage of the extra man and reduced the arrears by crashing over after some sustained Police pressure.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first with the Fire Service clocking up the first score.
Ian McLaren showed great awareness to set Paul Banner into the corner for an unconverted score.
The Police then enjoyed their best spell of the match as they pinned the Fire service in their own half for over half an hour and were rewarded for their dominance with a second try to cut the gap to 10 points with 10 minutes to go.
They were unlucky not to go over again, a forward pass saving the Fire Service’s blushes late on. McLaren wrapped the game up with a final try just two minutes from time leaving the Fire service 29-12 winners of the first-ever PvF cup.