Coventry journeyed to Goldington Road on Saturday, as Alex Rae’s men looked to cap off an excellent season with one final victory.
Under the shining Bedfordshire sun Coventry took no time to warm up, as we started the game dominantly with a series of strong carries in midfield; and, with less than 10 minutes played, we had the first try of the encounter. Titherington broke through in midfield following a series of excellent interchanging offloads between Dodd, Rigg and Martin, before the centre was brought down and our hosts infringed at the ruck. From the penalty Mitchell kicked us to the corner, and the forwards got the maul rolling for Suva Ma’asi to crash over. Mitchell added the extras, and we found ourselves seven to the good. (0-7)
The next 20 minutes or so were marked by a period of sustained Bedford pressure, with the Cov defence holding strong despite several good attacking sets from the hosts. On the 30 minute mark, somewhat against the run of play, Cov grabbed their second of the afternoon. Will Chudley popped up between the Blues’ line and intercepted brilliantly, before running half the length to go over for a great individual effort. Mitchell continued his form from the tee. (0-14)
Our hosts would respond straight away though, as just three minutes later they would grab their first try. Grimoldby put in a lovely cross-field kick, which Rich Lane eagerly gathered on the bounce in order to storm over. Will Maisey’s conversion was good from out wide. (7-14)
With just 1 minute to go until halftime, and with Cov a man down due to a Tobi Wilson yellow card, Alex Rae’s men took hold of the tie through a late try. Playing out from our own 22m, Cov broke the Bedford line through Louis Brown who offloaded to Will Rigg, with the Blues scrambling well to tackle the outside centre. However, Coventry recycled excellently and who else but Adam Peters, on his final appearance in the Blue and White shirt, to go steaming
through a gap and touch down under the posts for a special try. Mitchell’s boot added the additional two. (7-21)
HALF TIME: Bedford 7-21 Coventry
The second half started in much the same fashion as the first had ended – with plenty of adventure, and tries, from both sides. Bedford got themselves on the scoreboard first through a quick tap from a scrum penalty, with Rich Lane snaking over for his second of the afternoon. (12-21)
Cov would respond brilliantly however, as we scored two in nearly as many minutes. First, Mitchell put in a lovely kick over the top for James Martin to gather, and the wing dotted down in the corner. Then, after winning a quick penalty from the restart, Cov found themselves with a scrum 5m out from the Blues’ tryline, following a brilliant Evan Mitchell touch-finder from halfway. In a near carbon copy of the first Coventry try of the afternoon, the forwards got the maul rolling again, and it was Tom Dodd who emerged with the ball and claiming the score. Both of Mitchell’s conversions sailed through the uprights. (12-35)
Not to be outdone, Bedford replied with a score of their own just 5 minutes later, when the Blues worked the overlap on the near side and flyer Dean Adamson dived over. Will Maisey’s kick added the extras. (19-35)
After a scoreless ten minute period, the closest we got to a lull in this brilliant game, the next score came from the boot of Evan Mitchell as he slotted a penalty from in front of the posts following a Bedford infringement in the 22m. (19-38)
With just ten minutes left in the game, and the season, both sides let loose in order to try and find one final score to sign off in style. It would be Cov who would get it. From a counter attack, Alex Rae’s men went wide through the hands, and Louis Brown fixed his man before offloading to the waiting Tobi Wilson on the wing, who dived over for the last score of Coventry’s 22/23 campaign.
FULL TIME: Bedford 19-43 Coventry
Thank you to all the travelling supporters that came to Goldington Road, and who have followed us all season. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the BPA next season!