Athletic bounce back to thrash the Old Scouts

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Bedford Athletic returned to winning ways with a comprehensive six-try victory by 40 points to 3 at home to Northampton Old Scouts.

The Old Scouts scored the first points of the day through a penalty from fly-half Martin Connolly on two minutes in what was to prove their only score of the afternoon.

The home side were soon in try-scoring mode when, just two minutes later, their scrum shunted their opponents backward and created the space for scrum-half Tom Orton to attack the visiting defence.

He drew the last defender and full-back Charlie Darlow scooted home under the posts for the opening try on four minutes.

Patience was then the order of the day for the home side and eventually fly-half Mortimer was able to dance over by the posts to score and convert his own try for a 14-3 lead on 25 minutes.

Athletic were now upping the pace of their execution and Josh Cassell accelerated away down the left wing for the third try as the hosts took in a 19-3 lead at the break.

Old Scouts had the first opportunity of the second half when they were awarded a penalty on halfway which they drilled to the corner.

However tenacious Bedford Athletic defence repelled the chance, and Ben Reed touched down for the bonus point try on 48 minutes. Mortimer converted and the game was essentially settled as a contest.

Emphasising his choice as man of the match, Mortimer then won the turnover penalty that led to the next sustained period of pressure on the visiting line as Tommy Mills skated through the heart of the defence to score the fifth try. Mortimer again converted on 63 minutes.

The forwards were not to be denied and they capped off a dominant display when, following a series of pick and drives close to the Old Scouts line, Ben Middleton dived over for the sixth and final try on 70 minutes.

There was still time for Old Scouts to launch a series of final attacks of their own but the home defence held firm and not only alleviated the pressure but ended the game on the attack.

Bedford Athletic take a break for the Easter holidays now before they return to action at a resurgent Old Laurentians side on April 2. They are a team who have won five games since Christmas as they aim to survive in the division.