The Battle of Bedfordshire returns to Goldington Road as Blues hunt second place

Bedford Blues at Ampthill's Olney Field in the Championship
Image: Bedford Blues / 'X'

Saturday afternoon sees the resumption of the ‘Battle of Bedfordshire’ as Bedford Blues and Ampthill resume their rivalry amongst the backdrop of a superb climax of another Championship season.

The Blues are still five points behind second placed, Coventry – who travel to Nottingham on Sunday – but will need to keep up the pressure with a victory against perhaps the division’s in-form team.

Ampthill have shown grit and determination in securing back-to-back comeback victories in the past fortnight; first against league leaders Ealing before producing another sterling display on a tough ground at Caldy last weekend.

Those two victories see Ampthill up to 7th and if recent history is anything to go by, they will provide another stern test for Mike Rayer’s men at what is a key time of the season.

With champions-elect, Ealing, Coventry and Doncaster Knights all still to play, the Blues will see this as a must-win fixture in their pursuit of second place with Championship fixtures coming thick and fast until the end of May.

Pollock returns as one of four changes

Mike Rayer makes four changes to the starting line-up that beat Nottingham last Friday night.

Henry Pollock returns for his first start in a Blues shirt since the return fixture at the back end of 2023; a hugely popular player who has made waves for Northampton Saints and in an England shirt for the Under 20 side this season.

Joey Conway and Bryan O’Connor are chosen from the off in the customary front row changes, either side of James Fish while Seán French provides a timely boost as he returns from a knock to slot back in on the right wing.

Tickets are still available for what is always a great occasion at Goldington Road, via the Bedford Blues website here.

Bedford Blues Starting XV:

15. Matt Worley, 14. Sean French, 13. Michael Le Bourgeois, 12. Joel Matavesi, 11. Dean Adamson, 10. Will Maisey, 9. Alex Day (C); 1. Joey Conway, 2. James Fish, 3. Bryan O’Connor, 4. Emeka Atuanya, 5. Alex Woolford, 6. Luke Frost, 7. Henry Pollock, 8. Cameron King

Bedford Blues Replacements:

16. Jacob Fields, 17. Jamie Jack, 18. Oisin Heffernan, 19. Robin Williams, 20. Joe Howard, 21. Jac Arthur, 22. James Lennon, 23. Louis Grimoldby