Last minute heartbreak at Richmond dents Bedford chances

Image Credit: Claire Jones

The magic that was on show on Boxing Day has appeared to vanish for Bedford Blues who were put to the sword in another narrow defeat at Richmond this afternoon.

Mike Rayer made five changes to the starting line-up following last weekend’s disappointing home loss to Ampthill but the new look fifteen did little to appease his concerns in another frustrating loss in Surrey.

Bedford Blues struck first on a typically cold January afternoon as Ollie Newman touched down under the posts to give the visitors a well-deserved lead after just ten minutes.

Richmond were on the board five minutes later with a simple penalty converted by James Kane which seemed to ignite them after a slow start.

Their first try came on the half hour mark; Mark Bright the man to touch down for his 12th try of the season from a rolling maul that Bedford could not halt.

Going behind seemed to relight the Bedford fire, with Rich Lane thinking he’d restored the Blues lead only for the try to be disallowed.

Oli Stedman’s try on the stroke of half time did count though; the Blues choosing to tap and go a quick penalty instead of going for the posts; a decision that reaped rewards to give Mike Rayer’s men a 14-8 half time lead.

Richmond were not keen to let Bedford get out of sight at the beginning of the second half, former Bedford scrum half, James Lennon scoring Richmond’s second try of the game following a wonderful pass out wide from Bright.

The conversion from Kane gave the hosts the lead for the first time in the game but the yo-yo nature of the scoring continued as Bedford hit back through Pat Tapley, making the most of a numerical advantage following a sin binning for Jimmy Litchfield.

Last minute heroics save Richmond

However, with the clock ticking well past the 70-minute mark, Richmond scored what proved to be the decisive score; Mark Bright once again completing a powerful rolling maul to give the hosts a key lead.

There was still time for Bedford to snatch a last gasp winner, but with the try line within touching distance, the ball was spilt forwards to call an end to another gripping encounter.

Bedford Blues remain in sixth, but there is now a clear gap between the top four and the chasing pack and it will need a miracle for Mike Rayer’s side to penetrate the higher echelons of the Championship table now.

Elsewhere, Ealing Trailfinders continue to dominate; another comfortable 47-5 victory against Coventry consolidating their position at the summit.

Cornish Pirates are perhaps one of a couple of sides with the ability to stop them, as they remain in third following a 52-17 victory against lowly Nottingham.

Ampthill were also in action, but fell 17-12 to another strong side in Jersey Reds with Hartpury and London Scottish playing out an entertaining 31-31 draw last night.

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