In a game of three 30 minute periods, Bedford Academy dominated the first two before losing the third, as they ran out 52-34 winners overall against St Joseph’s College Ipswich.
With both sides taking the opportunity to use about 30 players, the game gave both sets of coaches the opportunity to try some different combinations.
Bedford opened the scoring after five minutes when a back row move from a scrum led to three phases of play and a try from flanker Harry Agnew; fly-half Chris Easton converted.
St Joe’s hit back straight away when they worked their way into the Blues’ 22 and scored from a driving lineout.
The Blues extended their lead when full-back Jack Stapley broke out of the Blues half, beat a number of tackles and linked with second row Josh Fadden; hooker Owen Griffiths was up in support and he fed winger Will Foster for a try.
Foster scored his second when the Blues attacked from a scrum deep in their half. Number 8 Joe Brock put in a neat grubber kick for Foster to score in the corner, which Easton converted.
Bedford got their fourth try when Griffiths was up in support to finish the move, and Easton’s conversion put the Blues 26-5 ahead at the end of the first 30 minutes.
With both sides making wholesale changes for the second period, Bedford began to dominate the set scrum and, from a St Joe’s scrum deep in the Blues half, a heel against the head led to a break up the blindside from scrum-half Olly Venni.
The Bedford pack took the ball on in the loose and winger Charlie Reed went over for a try which fly-half Cameron Gregory-Ring converted.
Venni was next to score with two tries within 10 minutes; Gregory-Ring converted one to put the score at the end of the second period up to 45-10 to Bedford.
And it was Bedford who scored first in the final period when the Blues pack won a long lineout and Agnew scored his second; Gregory-Ring converted.
St Joe’s narrowed the gap with a try from a tap penalty, which was converted. The rest of the third period was all St Joe’s, with three further tries, and a conversion making the final score 52-34 to Bedford.
Blues Academy director Denis Ormesher said: “All credit to St Joe’s; they never gave up and their superior fitness in the last period and willingness to run the ball from anywhere, gave them the edge at the end of the game.
“We were pleased with our performance in the first two periods, and some of our tries came from good approach work, and good finishing.”