Blues claim Premiership Cup derby honours

​Bedford Blues produced a stirring late comeback to overcome hosts Ampthill 24-19 in Saturday’s Premiership Cup local derby.
Sean French was among the try scorers for Bedford.Sean French was among the try scorers for Bedford.
Sean French was among the try scorers for Bedford.

The result won’t help Bedford’s attempts to progress from the group stage but at least gave them early bragging rights ahead of the new Championship campaign.

Ampthill scored the first try of the game in the eighth minute. The ball was spread to Ollie Dawkins, who beat his man and put in a brilliant grubber kick with the ball eventually grounded by full back Tom Bacon.

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Ampthill extended their lead to 12-0 in the 23rd minute, thanks to brilliant work from flanker Josh Smart on blindside, who evaded the tackler before delivering an outstanding offload to scrum half Charlie Bracken on the inside, who had the easy task of strolling over the try line. Gwyn Parks added the extras.

However, on the stroke of half time, Bedford scored their first try of the afternoon after prop Joey Conway bundled his way over the whitewash, narrowing Ampthill’s half time lead to 12-7, following a conversion from Louis Grimoldby.

After half time, Ampthill scored almost straight away, with a loopy pass intercepted by centre Oli Morris who had a procession to the line, Parks again converting.

Following a yellow card to prop Zac Nearchou, Bedford finally scored their second try of the game with Joe Howard forcing his way over the line in the 63rd minute, reducing the arrears to 19-14.

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Then in the 76th minute, Bedford scored a try to level game, after winger Seán French superbly finished a flowing move, ex-Ampthill fly half Grimoldby converting and then adding a last minute penalty to secure the visitors’ win.

Mob head coach Paul Turner said: “It’s disappointing to lose having led a game for 77 minutes. We’re in their 22 and defend poorly, they got outside us and the rest is history.

"We had played some good rugby and should have been way ahead by half time – we missed some good opportunities but ultimately we got what we deserved.”