A spirited comeback, led once again by the brilliant Will Maisey, gave Bedford Blues a superb 42-19 away victory at Hartpury this afternoon.
Mike Rayer made a raft of changes across his forward and back lines, with the return of Dean Adamson from injury the most notable of the switches with Maisey slotting back in at fly half.
The first quarter was nip and tuck; both sides exchanging penalties but it was Bedford who opened the scoring on the twenty minute mark with Tui Uru crashing over the try line.
However, the hosts hit back immediately, first through centre Robbie Smith to level the scores and then Will Crane to take Hartpury into the lead for the first time.
The Blues have been admirably courageous in going behind in recent weeks though, and this proved to be the case once more, as Reece Marshall scored to give Bedford a tight 14-12 half-time lead.
The see saw nature of the game continued into the second half, with Hartpury – enjoying one of their better starts to a Championship season – retook the lead; again through Will Crane.
That 19-14 lead was as good as it got for the hosts however, as Bedford took control with classic flair as they scored a stunning series of tries.
First was Ethan Grayson, collecting a perfectly timed pass from the in-form Will Maisey to touch down, before Dean Adamson collected a wonderful Maisey grubber kick to touch down on his second debut for the Blues.
That Adamson try earned Bedford their bonus point, but the tries did not stop there as Jordan Onojaife ploughed over on the hour mark.
Hartpury were able to pause the Bedford barrage for a small while, but Dean Adamson was on a mission to remember his comeback as he collected another grubber – this time from Connor Tupai – to touch down in the closing stages.
The final 42-19 scoreline was befitting of a second-half performance that will go down as one of the more memorable with the Blues re-discovering the glamour that has seen them challenge for the play-offs in recent years.
The win takes Bedford up to fourth, with Ealing hold on to top spot after thrashing London Scottish.
There were also wins also for Cornish Pirates against Coventry and also Jersey Reds as they squeezed past Richmond.
Ampthill were also defeated at home by Doncaster Knights, with the Championship table continuing to remain congested.
The challenge for Bedford Blues goes up a notch next weekend, as they host table-topping Ealing Trailfinders at Goldington Road on Saturday.