Bedford Blues put to the sword at impressive Cornish Pirates

Image: Cornish Pirates

The games come thick and fast in this truncated season for the Blues and their latest travails saw them travel to Cornwall for a tough battle against Cornish Pirates.

Mike Rayer named an unchanged side following last week’s 33-25 victory against Hartpury at Goldington Road last week, aiming to cement their place in the top half in the early stages of the season.

The first moments were fast and frantic, with the Pirates dictating the pace but a long pass was easily intercepted by full back, Rich Lane who walked over the try line after just four minutes for the visitors.

That’s as good as it got for Bedford though; the Pirates responding almost immediately thanks to a rolling maul finished by hooker Dan Frost, but Bedford retained a 7-5 lead as the tough conversion was punted wide.

The first ten minutes promised much, but it soon became scrappy and filled with indiscipline, encapsulated by a familiar, if a touch harsh, yellow card for Joe Atkinson after 25 minutes.

The Pirates looked to take advantage as they pounced on a loose Bedford line out and flew the ball out wide, where winger Robin Wedlake gave the hosts a 10-7 lead.

The floodgates then opened, with the Pirates securing two more tries before the half-time whistle.

The first was before the return of Atkinson; a simple line out routine straight off the training ground gifting Marlen Walker a simple touch down.

Pirates second row, Josh Caulfield – who had a very impressive game – finished off the second try in as many minutes as he broke through weak Bedford tackling to slide in under the posts, earning the Pirates a bonus point.

The 22-7 half time scoreline was a fair reflection of a first half dominated by the hosts, with Bedford rarely penetrating the Pirates’ red zone, and once again paying the price for indiscipline.

Mike Rayer sent his side out with renewed vigour in the second half with a couple of good breaks, but the Cornish Pirates weathered the storm and were the first on the scoreboard in the second half.

Another powerful rolling maul was too much for the Blues, with Marlen Walker touching down for his second of the game, and the host’s fifth.

Bedford continued to press though, needing at least three scores to get back into the game, and their efforts were rewarded with a 70th minute try through Jacob Fields.

It was too little too late however, with the Pirates providing scrappy and tenacious defence to stop the Blues reducing the deficit further.

A late yellow card for Matt Worley encapsulated a difficult day for Bedford; a 27-12 win for the hosts, solidifying a solid and at times, dominant performance from the Pirates who now have three wins from three and sit second in the table.

It is a second defeat from Bedford’s three games however, with the flair of Bedford’s back line unable to exert the authority they have done in the past.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Ealing Trailfinders lead the way after their third huge win in as many weeks thanks to a 55-19 victory at Coventry.

Doncaster Knights beat Hartpury 32-21 on Friday night, with Richmond gaining their first win at this level with a 23-15 win in the Channel Islands against Jersey, while Ampthill beat Nottingham at Dillingham Park.

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