Athletic romp to biggest victory for 18 years

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Bedford Athletic tore apart Oundle as they won 96-0 away from home in their East Midlands Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

James Mortimer set a personal best with 29 points while Harry Sawford-Smith bagged a hat-trick with the visitors playing with a pace and precision that the hosts couldn’t match.

Josh Cassell crossed for the opening try on his 50th appearance for the first team.

Then it was the forwards turn to dominate and once they had been held up over the line they drove forward from a scrum with Rob Watkins touching down.

Sven Meiland stole an Oundle lineout to set up the move that led to Sawford-Smith’s first try.

Nick Thomas barged his way over for the fourth try on 25 minutes.

There were two further tries before half-time, through Stephen Woodhead and David Simpson .

With only one conversion missed, Mortimer made it 47-0 with his third penalty on the stroke of half-time.

After the restart, a length of the field break gave Sawford-Smith his second try.

Oundle’s position was not helped when ex-Bedford Blues favourite Jon Phillips was sin-binned early on.

Further attacks led to a penalty try on 52 minutes and from that point on the tries flowed thick and fast. Ryan Taylor touched down another forwards’ drive from a lineout, Darlow danced his way through and Sawford-Smith completed his hat-trick.

Stefan Hughes-Brand made a welcome return to the side and took the ball over the line in the 69th minute.

Charlie Darlow helped finish off the 13th try in the 72nd minute, at which point Oundle pleaded with the referee to call a halt to proceedings.

Mortimer converted all his second-half tries and had pushed the score to 96-0 when the ref agreed to end the game eight minutes early.

It was their largest winning margin since a 109-0 defeat of Daventry in the East Midlands Cup in 1999.

Bedford return to league rugby on Saturday when they host Market Rasen & Louth.