The Bedford Blues Academy were down 19-0 at half-time to an older, more physical Loughbrough Students U21 side before putting together a better second half to lose by 38 points to 14.
Bedford were slow to start the match and the students played a more physical game to score three first half tries and take a commanding lead in at half-time.
But the Blues put together an improved second half performance, with greater intensity and tempo, with the subs from the bench adding real energy.
A good team try was scored mid-way through the second half, finished by prop Leon Patel-Chapman after multiple phases and changes of direction in attack.
Bedford’s second try followed after a series of penalties were won by the Blues, from some fine scrummaging from their smaller and younger pack.
The finishing touch was applied when scrum-half Olly Howard took a quick tap penalty and went over from 5m. Full-back Liam Shields converted both tries but it was not enough to prevent the defeat.
Blues Academy head coach Neil Harris said: “We were disappointed to concede the tries we did, however there were positives to take from the performance, against a strong and older Loughborough side.
“The scrummaging was strong and the lads played with improved confidence which has been missing in last few games”
Bedford Blues Academy: Ollie Pescott-Frost, Charlie Robinson, Henry Peck, Jacob Moody, Cameron Lawes, Callum Strachan, Reuben Pritchard, Rahat Choudhury; Olly Howard (capt), Ben Phillips; Ross Taylor, Max Titchener, Jack Gibbs, Matt Shacklady; Liam Shields: Replacements: Michael Bond, Ben Thompson, Leon Patel-Campion, Kyron Houston, Tim Herbert, Alfie Clark, Max McMinn.