Bedford ‘Pinks’ kicked off their 2016/17 British & Irish Cup campaign with a 46-33 bonus point win over the Dragons Premiership Select XV at Goldington Road on Saturday afternoon.
For the ninth season in a row, the Blues turned Pink for the annual Ladies Day which raises funds for Cancer Research UK and was well supported by 2,218 fans in Goldington Road.
The Pinks struggled to get into the opening exchanges as a lack of discipline saw Dragons fly half Arwel Robson converting two penalties inside the opening 13 minutes.
Bedford were gifted a try in the 27th minute as Tom Griffiths intercepted a visiting pass to cross the line, Myles Dorrian converting.
The Pinks continued to plug away and in the 36th minute Tom Whiteley impishly danced his way through to score, Dorrian’s boot making it 14-6, although Robson kicked his third penalty to close the gap to five at half-time.
The Dragons came out firing after the interval and Robson going over and converting his own score to put the visitors in front.
Dorrian’s kick saw Bedford retake the lead, while Whiteley was released by Michael Le Bourgeois to scamper over, Dorrian doing the rest.
The bonus point was secured when Sam James touched down, Dorrian’s conversion extending the lead to 31-16.
Dragons reduced the deficit to eight points when Will-Talbot Davies breezed over the line and Robson converted once again.
Bedford scored their fifth try as Elliot Clements-Hill to scored with Jake Sharp converting, while George Perkins then went over too.
Dragons threatened a comeback, Nightingale and Patric Lewis glided across the line too, but Sharp’s late penalty completed the win.