Poor Bedford Ath slide to comfortable defeat by Tring

Image: Duncan Woodhead / Bedford Athletic RFC

Bedford Athletic slumped to a 45-12 defeat at home to Tring. In a match in which they lacked cohesion and accuracy they did manage two tries but were otherwise outclassed by their more co-ordinated opponents who ran out comfortable winners.

Tring had the better of early possession and territory in the face of a passive Ath defence and several early attacks were only halted by last ditch tackles as Tring combined effectively to build pressure on the home side.

From a 5 metre scrum, they were halted only by a Lewis Sharp high tackle which earned him a yellow card and gave Tring a penalty which was converted by Ben Hogan for a 3-0 lead on 10 minutes.

Tring remained in the ascendancy and from an attacking lineout, their second row Ed Harrison cut a sharp line, penetrating the defence and off loading for inside centre Ollie Beeny to score the game’s first try. Hogan’s boot made it 10-0.

From the restart, Bedford Athletic won the ball back and scrum half Tana Stenson chipped over the defence, collected his own kick and ran through for an opportunistic score converted by fly half, Will Dorasamy.

Straight from the kick off, the home side were offside at a scrum and Hogan stretched the lead to 13-7 on 22 minutes.

A Hogan missed penalty several minutes later at last allowed Bedford Athletic to start to get a foothold in the game and their running game started to make some progress although too often the move was halted by a handling error.

As a result, Tring were rarely under pressure. Towards the end of the half, a penalty on half way gave Bedford Athletic an attacking platform but Dorasamy missed touch and instead it was Tring who several penalties later found they had advanced to the home side’s 22.

Once there, they ran the ball wide and around the home defence for a simple try for winger, Charlie Goss-Lambourne to take an 18-7 lead into half time.

Image: Duncan Woodhead / Bedford Athletic RFC

Tring bound clear

Tring regained the kick off at the start of the second half and immediately put the home defence under pressure. They conceded a penalty under their own posts which Hogan kicked for a 21-7 lead.

Bedford Athletic did have opportunities to respond. Full back Kieran Deans kicked a fine 50:22 kick to regain possession in the Tring 22 but a poor throw saw Tring regather the ball easily.

Dorasamy made a break from inside his own half and found Josh Cassell in support but when he was brought down just short of the line, the support was slow to arrive and Tring won a turnover penalty.

Instead, it was Tring who scored as they attacked with intensity, keeping support runners close to the tackle, offloading on the gain line and breaching the defence to score in the corner through back row Harry McCartney.

Bedford Athletics’ best opportunity was to keep the game broken up and to prevent Tring building any pattern of play although this was made more difficult by an ongoing lack of their own lineout ball.

Eventually, they did force a 5 metre scrum where Cassell cut a good running angle close to the line to power over for a second score on 65 minutes.

This served to galvanise the visitors further and Goss-Lambourne again proved a handful running across and through the defence only being stopped illegally just short of the line by Harry Sawford-Smith who was sin binned for his efforts.

From the penalty, Tring powered forward and second row Harrison reached over the top of a breakdown for the bonus point try and a 31-12 lead.

The next Bedford Athletic attack floundered with an intercept pass seeing the other second row Ian Jarman sprint away for a further try converted again by Hogan.

In the final moments, when Tring exploited another home attacking error, they again released Goss-Lambourne who turned the defence inside out down the left wing before putting full back Ben Criddle over for the final try.

The result leaves Bedford Athletic needing one win to avoid relegation and the opportunity comes away to Hertford in a fortnight’s time.

The side need to show they can take their fate into their own hands and not just avoid relegation thanks to the inadequacies of others.

Words by Jeremy Tyrrell

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