Athletic hit back to sink Paviors

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Bedford Athletic produced a resilient performance to come from behind and defeat Paviors by 27 points to 14.

Disrupted by the unavailability of nine first team regulars for this match, Athletic struggled to get the normal pace and fluency into their game, but with great defence they withstood the test to triumph by five tries to two.

Athletic made a shaky start and fly-half Paul Ryder received a yellow card for killing the ball at a ruck.

He was followed to the sin bin by Tom Neale, and Paviors profited when scrum-half Cameron Graham picked up from the base of a scrum to dart over and score. Chris Oswin converted.

From the restart Bedford Athletic had a third man in the sin bin when Chris Elliott was penalised for coming in at the side of a ruck, but they scored next as Charlie Reed and Tommy Mills broke for Charlie Darlow to cross for an unconverted try.

Gradually returning to a full complement, Athletic scored the final try of the half when Stefan Hughes Brand went over. Paul Ryder’s conversion gave Bedford a 12-7 lead at half-time.

At the start of the second half, Bobbie Ratcliffe plucked the ball out of the air to race 80m and score for Paviors, with Oswin converting for a 14-12 lead.

The home side’s response was immediate, allowing Charlie Darlow to restore the lead with an unconverted try after 50 minutes.

Paviors looked to hit back, but Athletic held firm and Ryder led the charge to cross for the bonus point try on 68 minutes.

Bedford then had the final say as they broke out down the left wing and crossed for the final try of the day through Tommy Mills.