Flair-filled Blues keep Bedfordshire bragging rights with victory at Ampthill

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Image: The Blues attack was far too strong for their Bedfordshire rivals (Image: Claire Jones)

The Battle of Bedfordshire often produces high-scoring affairs, with both sides famed for their attacking prowess but it was the Blues who stole the bragging rights with a scintillating display of try scoring this afternoon.

It only took five minutes for Bedford to open the scoring, winger Matt Worley kick started what was a superb individual display with the first of his three tries.

There were suspicions of a knock-on by Joe Atkinson in the build up, but the referee waved play on, as Worley strolled over the try line.

Worley was at the double ten minutes later with a perfectly executed line-out, via an excellent off-load from captain Rich Lane as Bedford opened up an early 14-0 lead.

It was never going to be a runaway victory for the Blues, and Ampthill are the ultimate battlers, with Reece Dunn halving the deficit for the hosts.

A penalty apiece was followed by an equalising try for Ampthill thanks to a wonderful run from fly-half Russell Bennett, who converted his own try.

With both sides heading into the break level-pegging, Emmanuel Iyogun crushed his way over the try line with the clock in the red to give Bedford a 24-17 half-time lead.

The game was the enjoyable, nip and tuck affair that are now as near a guarantee as possible when these two teams meet, with crunching tackles matched by flair in front of a sold out crowd at Dillingham Park.

However, the first fifteen minutes of the second half was the deciding period of the game as Bedford romped their way to three tries as they opened up a commanding lead.

Matt Worley scored the first try of the second half, completing his hat trick in the process after intercepting an Ampthill pass on his own 22-yard line and sprinting home.

Pat Tapley scored soon after, gathering the ball after a mazy run from Rich Lane to open up a commanding 36-17 lead.

Jamie Elliott secured the bonus point for the Blues after a strong run by Tom Litchfield and with Will Maisey’s left boot on fire, Bedford found themselves 43-17 ahead.

Ewan Fenley reduced the deficit on the hour mark with a try following a quickly taken penalty and even threatened a late comeback as Josh Skelcey scored with ten minutes remaining.

But a Bedford penalty put paid to any late hopes of an Ampthill comeback, and Pat Tapley’s 50th try for the Blues with a few minutes remaining took Bedford over 50 points.

A late yellow card for Karl Wilkins led to a penalty try for Ampthill in the last action of a pulsating game – giving them their own bonus point – not that it would dampen what is a brilliant result for the Blues.

The 53-34 victory means Bedford have two wins from their opening three games and playing with the confidence and panache that are befitting of a Blues team intent on entertaining rugby.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Ealing thrashed Nottingham 78-19 while there were also victories for Richmond over London Scottish and Doncaster Knights against Jersey Reds.

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