A slow start costs the Blues Academy

Bedford Academy full-back Liam Shields scores. Picture (c) James Patel-Champion
Bedford Academy full-back Liam Shields scores. Picture (c) James Patel-Champion

A slow start ultimately proved costly as the Bedford Blues Academy slumped to a 25-17 defeat against the Loughborough University U21s.

The Loughborough students scored three first half tries to lead 15-0 at half-time, and an improved second half performance from Bedford couldn’t prevent them from slipping to the loss.

Bedford Blues Academy fly-half Ben Phillips scores. Picture (c) James Patel-Champion

Bedford Blues Academy fly-half Ben Phillips scores. Picture (c) James Patel-Champion

The first 20 minutes saw a succession of errors from both sides, with poor discipline from the Blues gifting Loughborough a string of penalties and field position.

Loughborough scored their first try after 25 minutes when full-back Jack Stapley –who was with the Blues Academy last season – scored on the blind side.

Loughborough scored two further tries in the next 10 minutes to lead 15-0 at the interval, and the students enjoyed an excellent start to the second half.

From a scrum in the Blues half, a No 8 pick-up led to a ruck, before quick ball and an overlap on the left hand side created a well worked try from another Blues Academy old boy, winger Will Foster.

Bedford began to settle and, from a 5m lineout a few minutes, later prop Charlie Robinson was driven over, to make the score 20-5.

The students hit back when a Blues clearance kick missed touch; Loughborough counter-attacked and Foster scored again to increase the lead to 25-5.

Bedford scored two further tries from fly-half Ben Phillips, and full-back Liam Shields, with a conversion by the latter meaning the game finished 25-17 to the students.

Blues academy director Denis Ormesher said: “We were again poor in the first half. We were slow to get going, and never established a forward platform against the older students’ side.

“Unforced errors and poor discipline gifted penalties to Loughborough and gave them a 15-point start at half-time.”

“The second half performance was better. We reduced the errors and scored some good tries, but it was too little, too late.”

The Blues Academy are away on Saturday against the Cambridge University LX Club, the University’s 2nd XV, at Grange Road, k/o 2pm.

Bedford: Charlie Robinson (c), Aubrey Grimes, Henry Peck, Sam Copeland, Charlie Harvey, Jacob Moody, Rahat Choudray, Callum Strachan; Olly Howard, Harry Hutchins; Ross Taylor, Jose Fernandes, Jack Gibbs, Ryan Hutler; Max Titchener. Replacements: Michael Bond, Leon Patel-Champion, Ben Thompson, Kyron Houston, Tim Herbert, JonJo Fanning, Dylan Leney, Ben Phillips, Olly Venni, Liam Shields.