Academy see off Exiles after first half salvo

Bedford Blues Academy in action this season. Photo (c) bgrphotography
Bedford Blues Academy in action this season. Photo (c) bgrphotography

Bedford Blues Academy beat the Irish Exiles by 29 points to 14 as they coped better in the difficult conditions on a very wet and murky day at Goldington Road.

Playing down the slope, the Blues scored three tries to take a 17-0 lead in at half-time – controlling the game well – before an even second half with two tries apiece left Bedford with a 15-point win.

The Blues kick-off went deep and Bedford pinned the Exiles in their own 22 for the first 10 minutes until they took the lead when a 5m lineout was won for flanker Oli Robinson to score.

Bedford controlled the game well, using the slope to their advantage. The Blues scored two further tries, both through scrum-half Tom Whiteley.

The first came when he poached from close range, and the second arrived following a well-worked lineout move with the forwards running off the lineout to make space, before an inside pass from hooker Ben Wilkinson putting Whiteley in under the posts.

Centre Cameron Gregory-Ring converted the second try to put Bedford 17-0 ahead at half-time.

The Exiles kicked off the second half, going deep and pinning the Blues in their 22 until their first score came after five minutes.

Bedford were quick to hit back when, after working their way back into the Exiles 22, they won a penalty, and a quick tap from Whiteley saw him score his third try to put the Blues 22-7 up.

The Exiles narrowed the gap when a poor kick out of defence gave the ball to Exiles winger Kieran Wardle who out-paced the Blues cover to score.

Bedford had the final say with a try wide out from lock Callum Strachan, converted by Whiteley, to give them a fairly comfortable win.

Bedford Academy director of rugby Denis Ormesher said: “This was a good performance in poor conditions.

“The heavy rain made it difficult for both sides to play.

“I thought we controlled the game well and managed to create some good chances despite the weather.

“There are a number of things we need to work on but the lads are all looking forward to the visit of Saracens next week.”