Blues Women take huge step to promotion with win at Shelford

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Bedford Blues are top of the NC3 Midlands Central division

Bedford Blues may well be going through an indifferent patch in the English Championship in recent weeks, but the Women are well on their way to promotion after a convincing victory at Shelford this afternoon.

The newly-formed side, led by Mark Stapley, have had to wait a whole two months to resume their league campaign following a raft of postponements but wasted little time in finding their groove.

Emily Wallbank opened the scoring after just five minutes, finishing off a fine team move before Lauren Mason doubled the scoring a short while after to open up a comfortable early lead.

Lucy Middleton converted both tries to give Bedford a deserved 14-0 lead in Cambridgeshire, but from there, Bedford didn’t have everything their own way as the scoreline would have suggested.

Emma Graham’s last-ditch tackle stopped Shelford getting on the board, injuring herself in the process but picked herself up to score Bedford’s third try to continue her hot streak of try scoring.

Graham’s fourth try in three games put the Blues firmly in the driving seat on the half hour mark, but to the host’s credit, they came back fighting with a try of their own on the stroke of half-time.

Wallbank double stifles solid Shelford efforts

The Bedford back line have always been a strong suit of the Blues since their inception in January 2020; moving the ball fast and accurately to open up regular opportunities for tries.

And it took only five minutes of the second half to add to the try count; Emily Wallbank gaining her second of the afternoon to open up a 24-5 advantage.

Martina Sharp was close to adding to the score, but was held up just short of the line before Heidi Lawson, voted Player of the Match, scored with a wonderful individual effort to secure a 31-5 win for the Blues.

With three games remaining in the season, the Blues now lead their division by four points and are firm favourites to gain promotion in their first full season as a team.

Stapley’s side will have to wait nearly another month before their next fixture against Letchworth Ladies at Bedford Athletic before hosting Shelford again, at the iconic Goldington Road ground on 6th March.

The season ends on 20th March as Bedford host Letchworth once more at Bedford Athletic, and whatever happens, the Women can be vastly proud of their efforts both on and off the pitch.

The free ‘Train With the Team’ programme continues after a successful opening day last weekend, which continues at Bedford Athletic this Saturday.

Read: Bedford Blues Women launch free ‘Train With the Team’ programme

But for now, the Women can savour another successful afternoon on the pitch, toasting their perseverance in launching a local Women’s rugby side through a worldwide pandemic.

It is not too late to get involved with Bedford Blues Women. Anyone interested in taking up the sport can e-mail womensrugbybedford@gmail.com.

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