Buckingham Colts slay Bedford to win league title

Olly Bradford dives over for his first try
Olly Bradford dives over for his first try

Buckingham Colts Academy rounded off a phenomenal East Midlands Premier League campaign by being crowned champions when beating Bedford Blues 29-13.

With the strong wind in their favour, Bedford made a bright start and two early penalties had them 6-0 ahead but that was as good as it got.

From that moment on, Buckingham dominated as they scored the first try of the match through Olly Bradford, who touched down in the corner, before breaks by Thom Foster and Bradford moved them into the Blues 22 where Elliot Pittwood went across under the posts.

That gave Matt Glendinning a simple conversion that put Buckingham 12-6 ahead, although Blues then launched a prolonged attack that culminated in a converted try.

As the game continued in the same vein, with Blues taking 10, 15 or 20 phases with the forwards to make 10m, then kicking, and Buckingham running the ball, recycling quickly and looking for the offload, Bedford began to ship penalties at the breakdown.

A Buckingham line-out on half-way set up a driving maul which marched Bedford back 15 metres before being taken down illegally. Dominant in the set piece and playing into the wind, Buckingham elected to scrum and quick ball from the next ruck to Toone allowed him to put Will Ellis in for a try which put Buckingham into a 17-13 lead at half-time.

Now with the wind, Buckingham were able to control proceedings after half-time as Bradford crossed for his second try, converted by Glendenning who then wrapped up victory with a try of his own.

Team manager Ed Gibson said afterwards: “Credit to the whole squad for a true 22 man team performance.

“It is said that forwards win matches whilst backs decide by how many and that was so true of this game.

“With the ball Buckingham always looked dangerous with quick recycling by the pack and excellent distribution through Arthur and Will allowing the danger men outside to do what they do best – attack with flair and intent.

“A really tough, physical game in bad conditions and a convincing second win over Bedford to finish the league season as champions, undefeated, 10 from 10, 328 points for and only 57 against is truly impressive.”