Bedford humbled by rampant Ealing in opening championship cup fixture

Bedford Blues generic holding card

The Blues kicked off their competitive season with a tough looking fixture at Goldington Road against Ealing Trailfinders; a side who are highly fancied this season after finishing 2nd in the last campaign.

After tight opening exchanges, Ealing were the first team to score as Pat Howard broke through the centre, falling just short of the try line but James Cordy-Redden was there to pick up the pieces and tumble over to give Ealing an early advantage.

It was not long before Ealing extended their lead, with Reon Joseph running into the corner for the visitors as the Blues were outdone by swift movement on the outside.

With a good conversion planted between the posts, Ealing found themselves 12-0 up with barely a quarter of the game gone.

The Blues were able to exert some pressure of their own midway through the half with a series of penalties in Ealing territory but were unable to capitalise due to ill-discipline at the breakdown.

While Ealing looked more assured, the Blues found themselves making errors at important moments leaving them unable to get on the scoreboard.

It was another mistake that led to Ealing extending their lead to 19-0 after flanker Kieran Murphy rolled through a poor tackle to touch down under the posts, leaving Bedford to lament their lack of composure in defence.

Despite the Blues striking back almost instantly with a try for Pat Tapley, a mistake on the halfway line gifted the ball to Murphy who fed Jack Tovey for the simplest of tries to restore Ealing’s handsome 19-point lead at the halftime break.

The second half kicked off with a continuing theme as another handling error in their own half gifted possession to Ealing and after some nifty offloads, Ealing captain Rayn Smid was free to run under the posts to extend Ealing’s increasingly comfortable lead to 31-5.

A further score for second-rower Harry Casson took the lead to over 30 points with Bedford unable to penetrate the Ealing half in a period of sustained pressure for the visitors.

Two more tries soon followed as the Blues began to capitulate in the late summer warmth. Replacement Jordan Burns coasted home following a break from Tommy Bell while the eighth try for the visitors came from captain Smid, who scored his second try of the afternoon.

A late surge from the Blues reduced the deficit, with tries from Dan Temm, Joe Atkinson and Ryan Hutler all in the space of five-minutes giving the Bedford faithful plenty to cheer in the closing stages, but it was Ealing who had the last laugh with Jack Tovey scoring with the final play of the game.

It was a frantic finish to what was a high-scoring match with moments of quality matching moments of madness from both sides. 

Bedford will rue a series of errors and poor decisions in a tough afternoon, losing in the end by 57 points to 26.

Bedford face Coventry and local rivals Ampthill in the next couple of fixtures to try and gain a place in the quarter finals.

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