Yorkshire Carnegie ran in five tries to secure a bonus point and crucially denied Bedford any points in a well-earned 35-20 win at Headingley Carnegie.
Yorkshire Carnegie and Bedford were equal on points going into this Easter Sunday clash with Jersey hot on the heels of both clubs for the vital top-four finish for the play-offs.
The home side took an early lead when Matt Smith was alert to a loose ball at the lineout and broke through the Bedford defence. He was hauled down but Bedford came over the top and Sinfield had a straightforward kick at goal to give his side a 3-0 lead.
Yorkshire crossed for the game’s opening try. Mike Myerscough galloped through to get within 15 metres of the Bedford line. The initial danger was stopped but, as the Blues tried to come away from their line, they spilled the ball and Richard Beck was on hand to pick up and stretch out to score. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 10-0 after 14 minutes.
Bedford were awarded a penalty and Jake Sharp was on target to cut the gap to 10-3.
Bedford no8 Joel Conlon was driven over from a lineout but Sharp pulled his conversion attempt wide. Yorkshire skipper Ryan Burrows inspired his troops with a break through midfield, ending in a penalty from Sinfield after Taylor Prell was bundled into touch whilst the referee played advantage.
However, Prell was not to be denied the next time he had a chance when he took Burrows’ pass and finished cleverly after stepping out of the attempted tackle by Henry Taylor. Bedford rallied in the final minutes of the half and, after a number of phases near the Yorkshire line, back row Josh Buggea forced his way over between the posts. Sharp added the conversion to make it 18-15 at the break.
The Blues took the lead at the start of the second half with a spectacular move that covered 80 metres and was finished in the corner by winger Dean Adamson to give the Blues the lead for the first time at 20-18.
However, Yorkshire responded to the challenge and scored back-to-back tries to secure the try bonus point going into the final quarter. Myerscough was driven over from a lineout, and Sinfield converted to make it 25-20. Yorkshire made sure of the bonus point when Jonah Holmes crossed. It also opened a 10-point lead.
The home side then made sure of the points with five minutes to go when Andy Saull took Chris Walker’s pass before sliding in from two metres out.
Desperate defeding by Yorkshire denied the Blues three potential try chances at the death.