With a tough game coming up against the Wasps Academy, the Bedford Blues Academy made wholesale changes for their home game against the Oxford University U21 XV.
With an 8-0 lead at half-time, the Blues ended as winners of an entertaining game by 18 points to 7 at Goldington Road.
Bedford took an early lead when fly-half Roddy Giles, making his debut, kicked a penalty from in front of the posts.
Bedford exerted pressure throughout the half but the Oxford defence was able to hold for the first 30 minutes.
The Blues broke the deadlock when, from an Oxford lineout, they stole the ball. Blindside flanker Callum Strachan went quickly and was tackled just short, but the ruck was won and openside flanker Oli Robinson – back after a six-week injury break – crashed over the line.
Bedford upped the tempo in the second half but the Oxford defence remained strong.
The students narrowed the gap after half an hour with a try from close range which was converted to make the score 8-7 to Bedford.
The Blues extended their lead with a further penalty from Giles, and the last 15 minutes saw concerted pressure from Bedford which was rewarded with a try.
Bedford built a good attack, recycling the ball well, before debutante right winger George Silk came off his wing to support on the left and made space to put centre Aaron Martin in for a try; Giles converted to make the final score 18-7 to Bedford.
Blues Academy director Denis Ormesher said: “With so many changes we were delighted with the performance today. With three games in eight days we took the opportunity to rest a few guys.
“We tried a few new players, and had a number of players coming back from long terms injuries. All of them did well.
“It took some time for us to settle, but we grew stronger as the game progressed and put together a performance to beat the older students’ team.
“It is hard to pick out individual players but we were particularly pleased with the performance of a number of players; Callum Strachan, Oli Robinson, Owen Griffiths, Roddy Giles, George Silk, and Cameron Ives.”
He added: “The performance showed the strength in depth in the squad.”