On Ladies Day, over 3,200 fans packed into Goldington Road to see the Blues don pink in aid of Macmillan Cancer in their must-win clash against local rivals Ampthill, as the pool stage of the Championship Cup reached the halfway stage.
In what was a scrappy, error strewn first ten minutes it was Ampthill who opened the scoring, working the ball out wide after sustained pressure with winger Kwaku Aseidu diving into the corner.
Ampthill’s Karim Lynch was sent to the sin bin after 18 minutes after a dangerous aerial challenge and the resulting penalty led to Bedford’s first real look at the opposition try line.
Despite an expected period of pressure, it was only towards the end of that ten minutes worth of numerical advantage that Bedford capitalised, with Dan Temm going over in the corner to restore parity at the half an hour mark.
Bedford could not penetrate any further however, conceding regular penalties in dangerous positions and it was Ampthill’s Louis Grimoldby who restored the visitor’s lead as he slotted the ball between the posts with the half time interval looming.
It was a first half more notable for its mistakes and ill-discipline than its quality, as both teams squandered good openings with handling errors and poor set piece play.
Bedford made a more composed start to the second half with a quickly taken penalty opening up the Ampthill defence but an unlucky knock on in the corner left them empty handed once again.
Shortly after, a controversial decision from the referee gave Ampthill possession from the scrum inside their own 22 but a good break from scrum half Kevin Barrett followed by a useful cross-field kick led to Jarryd Sage diving over to give Ampthill a 15-5 lead.
With 15 minutes remaining, the visitors extended their lead with assured handling and composed attacking play, ending with a second try for winger Kwaku Aseidu and despite the conversion being sent wide, Ampthill had put themselves on the verge of a famous win with a lead of 20 points to 5.
From then on, Bedford went gung-ho and their persistence was rewarded with a scrappy try with five minutes remaining; Huw Worthington the man to bundle over the try line. Ed Coulson kicked the conversion to reduce the deficit to 20 points to 12.
However, it was Ampthill who had the last laugh with Karim Lynch touching down in the corner to secure a famous victory for the visitors and giving them their first points in the Championship Cup.
Defeat by 25-12 leaves Bedford with 3 losses from 3 and a long way back if they are to secure a qualification place when the Cup resumes at the end of November.
Bedford could look to some questionable refereeing decisions as a reason for this loss but in truth, they lacked the composure and penetration to really trouble a disciplined and strong Ampthill side, who take the spoils in this all-Bedfordshire clash.
The Blues start their league campaign next week with a tough trip to Yorkshire Carnegie, hoping for a better result to kick start their season.