AFTER having fought back to level the game at 17-17 shortly after half-time, Yorkshire Carnegie ultimately lost out 41-22 as Bedford Blues fought back impressively in the second half.
Heroic work from the hosts meant the game was able to go ahead after snow and ice was cleared from the pitch in the morning.
On six minutes the visitors were penalised for holding on and Bedford sensed their chance. Having kicked to the Yorkshire 22, the Blues kept the ball alive and eventually Michael Le Bourgeois went over in the corner. Will Hooley added the conversion to give his side a 7-0 lead after six minutes.
Having gained a penalty on half way Carnegie then kicked to the corner and gained another penalty for offside in front of the posts as they looked to find a way through. Will Homer kicked the penalty to cut the gap to 7-3 after 12 minutes.
The visitors were then dealt a sucker blow when Bedford crossed for their second try when the ball shot out of a ruck and winger Howard Packman was quickest to react and he ran through untouched to score.
Bedford added a third try five minutes later having gained a penalty in midfield. They kept possession and second row Will Carrick-Smith went over wide out. Hooley missed both conversions to leave the score 17-3 after 19 minutes.
It looked as if Carnegie would endure a frustrating half as three more try-scoring chances went begging. The first came when Pete Lucock was held up over the line and Bedford pinched the ball at the scrum, then George Watkins broke through and found Stevie McColl but Packman intercepted McColl’s final pass.
Then McColl himself went close in the corner only to be denied.
However, Yorkshire kept their heads and Callum Irvine chipped over the defence for Andy Forsyth to race through and score. Homer added the conversion to make it 17-10 after 36 minutes.
But Carnegie’s work was not done for the first half as they had to manfully defend their line in the final moments of the half to keep the Blues out.
Carnegie immediately levelled the scores inside a minute of the re-start when Richard Beck broke clear before passing to Forsyth who found McColl to finish off. Homer added the conversion to level the scores.
The visitors had further chances after that but were unable to capitalise on their territory and Bedford could kick to relieve the pressure. They went close through Packman, who was held up, and they opted to go for goal from a subsequent penalty that Hooley was successful with to put his side 20-17 in front.
The home side then sealed the victory with two tries either side of the hour mark. The first came when Charlie Beech’s pass was intercepted and the Blues immediately counter-attacked to put Packman in for his second try of the game.
His opposite winger then grabbed Bedford’s fifth try when Homer was isolated having broken down the blindside. The Blues again reacted quickest and kicked down field. The ball bounced away from McColl and Dean Adamson won the race to touch down. Hooley converted both tries to make it 34-17 to the Blues. Carnegie got a try back with prop Marc Thomas powered over following tight play by the Yorkshire forwards with 10 minutes to go. But that was as close as James Lowes’ side came to a fight back.
Trailing by 12, they were forced to chase the game late on and Bedford took advantage when skipper Le Bourgeois went over for his side’s sixth try of the game.
Hooley added the conversion to make the final score 41-22 to Bedford.