A late Seán French try and key kicks from fly half, Will Maisey helped Bedford Blues post their first points of the Championship season with an impressive 20-18 victory against a tough Cornish Pirates side in Cornwall.
The uncharacteristically low scoring game in the south west ignited in the final twenty minutes after a cagey first half but Mike Rayer will not care a jot as Bedford Blues posted back-to-back victories at the Mennaye after last season’s 41-21 win.
The four-point victory kick starts the Blues’ campaign, although Cornish Pirates picked up a losing bonus point in a valiant effort.
Low scoring first half
It took almost twenty minutes for the scoreboard to see its first action as Iwan Jenkins slotted home a penalty and he had threatened to score the only points of the first forty minutes before Alex Day intervened.
The Blues’ captain was on hand to capitalise on a strong Bedford scrum to dot down on the Pirates try line and with Will Maisey slotting home a simple conversion, the visitors led 7-3 at the break.
Two penalties in the space of ten minutes – again for Maisey – extended the Bedford lead to ten points on the hour mark which prompted the Pirates into a response.
A converted Alex Schwarz try closed the gap to just three points and when Jenkins chose to tie the game with another simple penalty, the scoreline sat at 13-13 with fifteen minutes left on the clock.
That scoreline remained the same until the 76th minute, when Matt Worley lived up to his ‘Magic’ nickname with a moment of brilliance that would secure the hard-fought away victory.
The Hong Kong international picked the ball up inside his own half, skipping through three challenges and kicking twice, with the second kick finding a gleeful French to run in the match-winning try.
Maisey’s conversion made it 20-13, but there was still time for the Pirates to fight back and a very late Harry Dugmore try gave Iwan Jenkins the opportunity to level the game, but he missed the conversion.
The 20-18 success ignites Bedford Blues’ league campaign but they will have to wait a fortnight to try and build on this excellent and gritty victory as Hartpury come to Goldington Road on Remembrance Day.
Elsewhere, Ealing made it two wins from two with a 36-28 victory at Hartpury, Doncaster spoiled Cambridge’s home Championship debut with a 61-14 win while Nottingham beat Ampthill 41-28.