It wasn’t quite the start to the new year that Bedford’s rugby fraternity were hoping for this weekend; the Blues weren’t in action, but the town’s other sides were with Bedford Queens the only club able to avoid defeat as Ampthill, Bedford Ath and the Swifts were all beaten.
“I think it’s fair to say we got what we deserved,” said Ampthill’s director of rugby Mark Lavery after his sides 14-12 defeat away at Darlington Mowden Park in National One.
“They flew out the blocks early doors, they were strong and confrontational and we were, quite honestly, still on the bus.
“We didn’t get our game on until we were 7-0 behind, I think we touched the ball twice in the opening nine minutes – we scored before the turnaround to go in 7-7 each, fair play to them, they probably deserved a little more from the first half.”
Ampthill added an unconverted try after the restart, but DMP cranked up the pressure to crash over in the final 10 minutes, converting to take the points.
Lavery added: “We gave them too many chances, we invited them back onto us time and time again. We found ourselves on the wrong side of the referee and DMP took full advantage, ultimately, as lack of accuracy cost us.”
In National Three, Bedford Athletic were beaten 13-6 away at Bridgnorth in a game that ended somewhat controversially as Ath’s Jeremy Tyrell said: “We had a perfectly good try disallowed by a referee who was in the wrong position, which is annoying.
“Steven Smith kicked a couple of penalties for us in the first half and we went in 7-6 behind.
“They got their kick and drive game going in the second period and scored a converted try to extend their lead, but both James Wallace and David Simpson crossed over although the referee didn’t award them.”
In Midlands Four East (South) second-placed Bedford Queens hosted league-leaders Sileby and had to settle for a share of the spoils following a 7-7 draw. “That’s probably handed them the league,” said chairman Tim Ayles. “I know there’s a long way to go still but there you are; I’d hoped we might be able to get something out of today but I think, on reflection, we did well to get the result we did. They’re a very good side”.
Bedford Swifts travelled to Brackley looking to do better than the 32-13 defeat they’d suffered in the reverse fixture back in October.
Dspite early dominance the referee blew time on the game with Swifts 30-13 behind leaving them six points adrift at the foot of the table with six games of the season remaining.
“We converted territory to points in the early part of the game,” said Swifts’ Andrew Stock. “However poor decision making and a lack of fitness cost us as the game wore on, and it allowed them to run away with the game.
“It was a fantastic game of rugby but the boys know what needs to be worked on in the future.”
Next weekend sees the Blues back in action, hosting Leeds Carnegie in the B&I Cup at Goldington Road.
Meanwhile, Ampthill entertain Loughborough Students at Dillingham Park, Bedford Ath welcome Broadstreet to Putnoe Woods, and Queens travel to Stamford College Old Boys while the Swifts enjoy a rest weekend.