Tapley’s treble leads Blues to a first victory

Pat Tapley touches down for Bedford against Richmond at the weekend
Pat Tapley touches down for Bedford against Richmond at the weekend

Bedford recorded their first win of the RFU Championship season with a 34-14 victory over Richmond at Goldington Road on Saturday afternoon.

Six tries – including a hat-trick for Pat Tapley – ensured a bonus point win for the Blues, although they were made to work extremely hard for their victory.

After an evenly contested opening, Bedford moved ahead with 18 minutes gone as Pat Tapley, sporting blue hair for the game, danced his way past the final defender to score with Jake Sharp converting.

Richmond’s response was immediate though as Tom Farrell was sent to the sin-bin for deliberately stopping play and from the line-out maul, Adam Peters crossed the line with Rob Kirby converting.

Back to a full complement, the Blues started to express themselves once more and had their second try as Jordan Burns, Justin Blanchet and Dean Adamson combining for Michael Le Bourgeois to cross the line.

Two minutes later and the Blues were in again, as Le Bourgeois broke superbly on the wing and popped the ball to the supporting Adamson who raced away to score, Sharp slotting the extras.

In the second period, Bedford went on the attack as Jack Allcock saw yellow for the visitors and from a tap penalty, Burns spread the ball to Tapley who dotted down to make it 24-7.

Jeremy Cunnew crossed the line for Richmond, Kirby converting as they trailed 24-14, but Tapley was soon over for his treble after more good work from Le Bourgeois.

Richmond were reduced to 14 men for the final ten minutes when Cunnew was given a yellow card for a high tackle as Bedford went on the attack.

The ball sailed to touch, Sam James found his man and the Blues pack trundled over with Ed Taylor being the man to ground the ball to make the final score 34-14.