Sixth defeat in a row for struggling Bedford Athletic as home misery goes on against Shelford

Bedford Athletic's 54-34 home defeat by Shelford was the team’s sixth defeat in a row, the seventh home loss of the season and the third consecutive match in which no bonus points have been gained, writes Jeremy Tyrell
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Bedford conclude their league campaign away to Sudbury in a fortnight, who are on a 14-game winning streak, and may look to the Cup campaign which begins at home to Matson on 13th April for that elusive next home win.

Athletic started well and won a penalty which fly half Dorasamy converted in the ninth minute.

Michael Gillick brushed off three attempted tackles for the opening try which went unconverted.

Bedford Athletic's struggles continue.Bedford Athletic's struggles continue.
Bedford Athletic's struggles continue.

In response Bedford’s Lewis Sharp collected a quick throw to dive over for a try converted by Dorasamy to retake the lead at 10-5 on 15 minutes.

Jake Foster was then sin-binned for a high tackle and, playing against 14 men, Shelford took full advantage.

A quick tap penalty saw the ball find its way to wing Louie Tang, who sped away for Shelford’s second try, converted by Kyle Harris.

Although Bedford responded with a Dorasamy penalty, further Shelford pressure saw them punch holes in the home defence and No.8 George Cracknell powered over for another converted try, giving Shelford a 19-13 lead on 25 minutes.

Athletic kicked a penalty to touch within five metres of the visitors' line, and from a lineout drive, Stenson sniped off the side and over for a try on the half hour mark.

A high tackle from back row Luca Martinelli earned him a yellow card and Dorasamy a penalty kick at goal which gave Athletic a 21-19 half-time lead.

The second half started with Gillick again shredding the home defence for the Shelford bonus point try which Harris converted.

Cracknell was sin-binned for a high tackle and the home side kicked a penalty on the hour mark to narrow the gap to 26-24.

Four minutes later a scrum penalty saw them take the lead, but the visitors' response was immediate.

A quick tap penalty saw scrum half Charlie Baker race through the defence for a converted try.

Athletic found some space in response with Nathan Litchfield breaking down the left wing and over-running the last defender to score in the 68th minute. Dorasamy’s conversion made it 34-33.

Then a clearance kick was fielded by Tang and he set in motion a move that went 50 yards and resulted in Gillick’s hat-trick try on 77 minutes. The conversion made the score 40-33.

Chasing the game the home side lacked accuracy as they tried to counter attack, dropping the ball and seeing lock Jacob Prier canter to the line for the seventh try.

With tackling by now non-existent, Cracknell ran through for the eighth try, both converted by Harris.

Dean Adamson became Bedford Blues' second greatest try scorer in history as Mike Rayer's side made it back-to-back bonus point victories with a hard-fought 27-14 victory over Caldy in the RFU Championship at Goldington Road on Saturday.

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