Big weekend for rugby fans in Bedford with Ampthill, Athletic and Swifts at home

Ampthill hosting Coventry as Blues visit Jersey Reds
Captain Charlie Beckett's Ampthill will be welcoming Coventry this weekendCaptain Charlie Beckett's Ampthill will be welcoming Coventry this weekend
Captain Charlie Beckett's Ampthill will be welcoming Coventry this weekend

Ampthill host Coventry at Dillingham Park on Saturday, keen to improve on their opening defeat at Nottingham, while Bedford Blues have a trip to Jersey Reds as their Greene King IPA Championship also gets underway.

Ampthill lost 36-26 on Friday evening, with tries for Zac Nearchou, Ben Cambriani, Morgan Monks and Reece Dunn, while Coventry opened with a 39-22 win over Doncaster Knights.

Head coach Paul Turner said: “The first half felt like a practice match with lots of mistakes by both sides.

“At 15-12 we felt the game was there for the taking but 10 minutes of inaccurate rugby at the start of the second half with two tries for Nottingham saw the game go away from us.

“We made too many errors away from home to get the result we wanted but I was proud of the effort shown by our boys in the second half and Nottingham were good for their win.

“There’s lots to work on this week ahead of Coventry’s visit to Dillingham Park.”

Last week Ampthill also appointed their club captain for the campaign, Charlie Beckett. Beckett joined the club from Gloucester in August 2020 and played in all ten Championship fixtures for the Mob during the truncated 2020-21 season, scoring one try against local rivals Bedford Blues.

He captained the side once - away at Ealing Trailfinders but now has the job full time.

Beckett said: “It is a massive honour for me to be asked to captain Ampthill for the 2021/22 season.

“When Paul (Turner) asked me, I had no hesitation in saying yes, and I’m massively fortunate to have a brilliant leadership group working alongside me.

“We have a young, exciting and hugely talented squad this season and I’m really excited to seeing what we can achieve together.”

Turner added: “I’m delighted that Charlie has taken on the role of Ampthill Rugby captain for the 2021/22 season. Charlie has impressed a lot of people since he arrived at the start of last season.

“His leadership qualities and demeanour made it a no brainer for the captaincy. Players always follow good leaders.”

Bedford Blues concluded their pre-season preparations in a satisfying 47-33 win over Saracens Storm at Goldington Road.

Mike Rayer’s side scored seven of the afternoon’s dozen tries in an exciting game, marred only by a nasty looking injury to Dean Adamson.

Blues were pleased to be on top in every department ahead of this weekend’s trip to Jersey Reds.

On Saturday Bedford Athletic take on unbeaten Dronfield at Putnoe Wood.

Last week Athletic continued their perfect start to the season with their third Midlands 1 East victory, 26-22.Their first win at Derby since 2014 sees them at the top.

Liam Walsh and Steve Smith tries, along with a penalty try were matched by the hosts but Leo Mortimer’s goalkicking made the difference.

Queens kick off their league season at Luton on Saturday in Midlands 3 East (South) with Swifts hosting Thorney in Midlands 4 East (South).