Richmond hold firm to deny the Blues at Goldington Road

Image: Bedford Blues / Claire Jones

After Bedford Blues’ scintillating victory at Ampthill a fortnight ago, Mike Rayer would have wanted the games to come thick and fast but instead had to endure a week off before today’s game against Richmond.

Richmond have enjoyed a successful start to the season, and began the game in third place with the Blues hot on their heels in fourth.

Louis Grimoldby, who signed from local rivals Ampthill in the off season, was given his first start with two other customary changes made in the forward division, as the Blues looked for a third successive win.

Richmond however have shown to be no pushovers and eventually stamped their authority on the game from the 15th minute as Will Homer opened the scoring for the visitors.

Owain James doubled the try count five minutes later, despite Grimoldby opening his Blues account, as Richmond took a foot hold in the first quarter.

A 17-3 lead was exactly the start the visitors were after, but Bedford were never going to give in and an astonishing first half fightback ignited the fans into action.

First, Reece Marshall touched down following a powerful driving maul before a wonderful offload from captain, Rich Lane gifted a try to Connor Tupai and with a flurry of penalties in between, the two sides went into the break level pegging at 20-20.

The hosts would have felt confident of continuing their momentum into the second half, and it seemed to be the case as Pat Tapley gave the Blues the lead for the first time in the game.

However, a familiar foe in the yellow card changed the course of the match; Connor Tupai sent to the sin bin before a James Kane penalty reduced the deficit to two points.

Richmond made the most of the numerical advantage; huge second row Freddie Hosking showing a turn of pace to touch down under the posts.

Despite Bedford being restored to a full quota of 15, they could not find a way through a stubborn Richmond defence, and it was the visitors who were next to score.

David Massey scored the visitor’s bonus point try in the 72nd minute, giving Richmond a 12-point advantage with just eight minutes remaining.

Ethan Grayson gave Bedford a sniff of a hope with a late try with a mere minute remaining but a knock-on at the restart all but killed their hopes of a dramatic comeback as Richmond held on for a famous 37-32 victory.

The win for the Surrey side take them to second of what is becoming an intriguing Championship division, with three wins from five alongside Hartpury and Cornish Pirates.

Bedford Blues slip down to fifth – despite gaining their own bonus point – and with a trip to high-flying Hartpury next week, the games do not get any easier.

Elsewhere in the division, Cornish Pirates dismissed Nottingham 32-8 on Friday night, while Ampthill could only draw 17-17 in Jersey despite leading 17-5 with ten minutes remaining.

There were also a convincing 62-19 win for Hartpury at London Scottish as well as Ealing Trailfinders who thrashed Coventry 73-24.

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