Blues sink the Scarlets to clinch a quarter-final place

Nick Fenton Wells in action for the Blues. Picture (c) June Essex
Nick Fenton Wells in action for the Blues. Picture (c) June Essex

Bedford Blues secured their place in the quarter-finals of the B&I cup with a bonus point 45-34 win over the Scarlets Select.

Tries came courtesy of Josh Buggea, Paul Tupai, Nick Fenton-Wells, Henry Staff, Sam Blanchett and Dean Adamson, which along with a penalty try secured the victory for the Blues who trailed 14-21 at half-time.

The Scarlets took the advantage in the fourth minute when their forwards were allowed space to set up a driving maul, resulting in Stuart Worral crashing over with Dan Jones adding the conversion.

Six minutes later and the Scarlets doubled their lead through a Dan Jones try. Myles Dorrian looked set to kick clear relieving the pressure on the Blues defence, but Jones charged down the clearance before grounding the ball just under the posts, setting up an easy conversion.

Bedford looked to respond almost immediately as they went through the attacking waves but the ball was knocked forward, resulting in a Scarlets scrum.

Bedford carried on edging upfield and, in the 19th minute, Josh Buggea went over for a try. Superb work in the break down from Peter White allowed Paul Tupai to swoop in and pick up the ball before he offloaded it to Buggea who grounded the ball, with Dorrian sending the conversion over the uprights.

The Blues looked destined for the equaliser and, five minutes later, they came up with the goods, courtesy of Tupai.

Bedford’s forwards dug deep in the breakdown before setting up a dangerous driving maul which resulted in Tupai going over the whitewash before Dorrian added the extras.

The match was stopped with only 10 minutes remaining in the first half after Scarlets loose-head prop Rhys Fawcett went down after a collision in the Blues 22. Pysios from both teams dealt with the injury and Fawcett’s afternoon was ended early as he was stretchered off.

Shortly after the restart the Scarlets regained the advantage through winger Gavin Thomas. The Scarlets edged deeper in to the Blues 22 before Dan Jones spotted Thomas in space just in front of the line, and the number 10 sent a cross chip pass in to the arms of the winger who dotted the ball down.

Jones sent the conversion over just before referee Stuart Gafkin blew for half-time, with the Blues going in to the break trailing 14-21.

Bedford came out in the second half highly motivated and, with the Scarlets hooker Torin Myhill being sent to the sin bin, the Blues took advantage of the extra man as Nick Fenton-Wells went over with the ball.

The Blues were awarded a penalty after Myhill was shown yellow and the forwards grouped together in the scrum before Jordan Burns and Dorrian exchanged passes, the latter then played in in Fenton-Wells who crashed over the line. Dorrian converted yet again to level the scores.

With both teams searching for a break through, it was the Scarlets who came out on top. The in-form Dan Jones intercepted a Dorrian pass before showing lightning speed as he charged over the line before adding the conversion to take it to 21-28 with 52 minutes on the clock.

The Blues carried on knocking at the door and they were rewarded with a penalty try from referee Stuart Gafkin.

Bedford picked up a penalty just in front of the Scarlets 5 metre line and the referee spotted an infringement, resulting in a penalty try which Sharp converted from just in front of the posts.

The Scarlets took the lead in the 65th minute through two quick Dan Jones penalties and the Blues were under pressure.

Bedford dug deep down the right wing, though, as they edged upfield before Henry Staff picked up and crossed the line. Sharp sent the conversion over from a tight angle.

Bedford were leading by a single point and, with both teams eager to secure the victory, it was the Blues who scored another try.

Camilo Parilli-Ocampo charged up field with possession and Burns set his sights for the line before offloading to Sam Blanchett who was in acres of space on the right wing and dotted the ball down for an unconverted try.

Bedford were not finished there though as they went in search of another try.

Bedford took control of possession in the Scarlets 22 and they edged closer to the line before Michael Le Bourgeois spotted a huge overlap on the right side and fed Adamson who sealed the victory with a perfectly timed run.

Bedford move in to the quarter-finals of the competition and, with the other results going their way, they’ve guaranteed a home tie in the next round.

Bedford Blues: Steffan Jones (Michael Le Bourgeois 40), Sam Blanchet, Henry Staff, Ollie Dodge, Dean Adamson, Myles Dorrian (Jake Sharp 55), Peter White (Jordan Burns 49), Tom Williams, Sam James (Charlie Clare 55), Biyi Alo (Camilo Parilli-Ocampo 55), Paul Tupai (C, Hayden Thomson-Stringer 70), Harry Wells, Justin Blanchet, Josh Buggea, Joel Conlon (Nick Fenton-Wells 27).

Scarlets Select XV: Dion Jones, Steffan Evans, Jacob Cowley (Matthew Jacob 64), Billy McBryde, Gavin Thomas, Dan Jones, Kieran Hardy (Connor Lloyd 74), Rhys Fawcett (Tom Kaijaks 40), Torin Myhill (Shaun Evans 48), Will Taylor (Steffan Thomas 80), Ben Thompson (Ifan Phillips 48), Jack Jones (C), Jack Payne, Stuart Worrall (Owain Morgan 72), Trystan Lloyd.

Attendance: 2,126