Doncaster Knights hold off battling Bedford Blues

A late comeback ensured Bedford Blues took two points from their trip to South Yorkshire, but Doncaster Knights held on for a 26-20 victory at Castle Park on Saturday.
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It was an afternoon of mixed emotions as Blues fought from the brink to at least ensure they had something to show from their troubles.

But they shouldn’t have been in that position to begin with as they dominated possession for large periods of time but found multiple ways to mess up gilt edged opportunities.

Blues had enough chances to win the game, but it just didn’t quite click with the final pass or kick as chances went begging. Mike Rayer’s side haven’t beaten Doncaster away since 2012 and in that time, you can’t recollect too many times they’ve had better opportunities to right some wrongs.

Bedford Blues lost away at Doncaster.Bedford Blues lost away at Doncaster.
Bedford Blues lost away at Doncaster.

Assistant coach, Jim Henry said: “We don’t come away with nothing which is important. But we did have a lot of opportunities late in the game to win it so frustrations and it does sting a little bit.

“The slow starts to both halves is something we’ll be looking at to rectify next week.

“We’re off five wins into two defeats. We haven’t become a poor team overnight – we won’t go too far away from basics in training this week ahead of a big game against London Scottish under the Friday Night Lights.”

A nasty injury to Tom Doughty after Doncaster’s second minute try delayed proceedings by a good while and Doncaster continued their ascendency upon the restart.

Russell Bennett’s penalty extended the advantage to 8-0 but then Blues roared back and dominated huge parts of that first half, including being camped in the Doncaster half for a good ten minutes.

They came away pointless having been held up twice but after some solid defence, were back in the Doncaster half and at least had a James Fish score for their troubles.

On the stroke of half time, a yellow card for Doncaster’s Harry Wilson should have been a turning point after he took out Dean Adamson high right on the try line. But during that ten minutes sin bin period, Doncaster actually won it 8-0 to extend their advantage further.

A second try of the campaign for Kieran Curran gave Blues some parity midway through the half but an absolute calamity and a gift for Maliq Holden took the scores to 26-10 in Doncaster’s favour.

Blues looked like they were dead and buried and at risk of coming away with nothing. But they went from that, to almost winning the game in the final five minutes thanks to a frantic finish.

James Lennon dotted down after a clever driving maul, then Sean French grabbed a 14th of the season in all competitions to become the first player into double figures for league tries this season.

A classy breakaway from Michael Le Bourgeois set up what could have been a grandstand finish but it went forwards in the transition out wide.

Doncaster scrummaged well and saw out the clock to return to winning ways on home soil.

Ampthill's home game against league leaders Ealing Trailfinders was potponed after a pitch inspection.