Bedford Blues returned to winning ways on Saturday after securing an extraordinary 33-24 win over Ealing Trailfinders.
The Blues were on the back foot for the majority of the first half but four second half tries without reply secured the important victory for Mike Rayer’s men who were trailing 24-7 at the break.
Bedford took the lead in the second minute through Piers O’Conor. Tom Griffiths broke with the ball from the line out before sending it out wide to O’Conor who went crashing before Myles Dorrian sent over the conversion.
But the Blues seemed to switch off almost immediately after the try as Ealing took control of possession before Benjamin Ward was given the opportunity to strike back with a penalty which he sent over with ease.
Bedford gave away a number of penalties before the Trailfinders took advantage, with Arthur Ellis going over from a driving maul and Ward sending the conversion over to bring the scores to 7-10.
Ealing continued to take advantage of Bedford’s poor discipline as they went over again just four minutes after. A penalty led to the lineout which allowed the Ealing forwards to set up another powerful maul before the ball was sent out to Rhys Crane on the wing who darted over the line with Ward adding the extras.
Bedford looked to respond but nothing seemed to be going their way as Ealing added a third try after 25 minutes.
The forwards broke with the ball before shipping it out wide to Luke Daniels who dodged numerous tackles before dotting the ball directly under the posts, giving Ward an easy conversion to make it 7-24.
Bedford appeared to switch on after conceding the third try as they went in search of their own, but a well worked attack from the forwards was halted when Ealing forced the ball out of play.
Bedford’s luck certainly seemed to be out as they lost Joe Lata on the stroke of half-time to injury, with Paul Tupai coming on as replacement for the second row.
Tupai’s introduction appeareed to spur the Blues on as they edged towards the Ealing line, but referee Dean Richards signalled for half-time.
The Blues came out in the second half highly motivated and it showed as they began playing fast paced running rugby, but the Ealing defence held their ground before forcing a penalty which Jonathan Bentley sent just wide.
Bedford turned on the pressure and it didn’t take long to pay off. A fantastic phase of running rugby saw Joel Conlon side step three defenders before using Adamson as a decoy to go crashing under the posts, giving Dorrian an easy conversion to bring the scores to 14-24.
Bedford carried on battling with possession against the solid Ealing defence and a well worked move from the forwards saw Camilo Parilli-Ocampo go over.
Bedford secured a scrum just inside the Ealing 22 and, as the forwards edged closer and closer, the former Trailfinder went crashing over before Jake Sharp added the extras to make the scores 21-24.
Blues fans all around Goldington Road were in full voice as Bedford went in search of that all-important fourth try.
Ealing looked to tire in the latter stages of the game as the Blues carried on throwing everything at their defence, and it was the in-form winger Dean Adamson who secured the try.
Tom Griffiths broke with the ball in space before unselfishly shipping the ball out wide to Adamson who darted over the line, allowing Sharp to add the extras.
The Blues led 28-24 going in to the final stages of the game where they looked to put the final nail in the coffin.
Adam Preocanin was shown yellow for taking out a man in the air and the resulting penalty was sent to touch.
Another dangerous maul followed the lineout and a full hearted battle from the Blues scrum sent Tupai crashing over the line for an unconverted try.
Bedford return to Goldington Road next week where they take on Jersey in the quarter finals of the B&I Cup.
Bedford Blues: Piers O’Conor, Pat Tapley, Michael Le Bourgeois (C), Tom Griffiths (Henry Staff 75), Dean Adamson, Myles Dorrian (Jake Sharp 52), Henry Taylor (Jordan Burns 59), Alex Lundberg (James Currie 48), Charlie Clare (Sam James 64), Biyi Alo (Camilo Parilli-Ocampo 48), Mike Howard, Joe Latta (Paul Tupai 34), Josh Buggea, Justin Blanchet, Joel Conlon.
Ealing Trailfinders: Luke Daniels, Rhys Crane, Daniel Barnes, Tobias Howley-Berridge, Philip Chesters (Callum Wilson 39), Benjamin Ward (Jonathan Bentley 44), Alex Walker, Will Davis, Rhys Lawrence (C), Alexander Penny, Carwyn Jones, Adam Preocanin, Iain Grieve, Arthur Ellis (Daniel Kenny 48, Harrison Orr 61), Christopher York (Karl Gibson 70).
Referee: Dean Richards