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Scots begin 2016 with defeat to Bedford Blues

Scots begin 2016 with defeat to Bedford Blues

London Scottish suffered defeat in their first match of 2016 after they were beaten 31-19 by a dominant Bedford Blues side at Goldington Road.

London Scottish suffered defeat in their first match of 2016 after they were beaten 31-19 by a dominant Bedford Blues side at Goldington Road.

The Scots trailed 26-0 after 35 minutes, and managed to battle their way back in to the match but ultimately left themselves with too much to do which has become a common theme this season. 

MPU

Bedford scored their first try of the match just before the 15 minute mark. Oli Grove was put under huge pressure in the 22 and forced to boot the ball in to touch, which gave the Blues a line out five metres from the Scottish try line. From a good driving maul platform Mike Howard was able to drive over the line and give the hosts the lead. 

They went further ahead just five minutes later through Mark Flanagan. The second-row was on hand for their second try of the afternoon from close range, and Jake Sharp’s first conversion of the match made it 12-0 to the Blues. 

Nick Fenton-Wells scored their third try in similar fashion to establish their lead. The flanker broke away from another rolling maul to dot the ball down, and Sharp’s conversion gave them a 19-0 advantage.

Michael Le Bourgeois secured the bonus-point for the hosts with 36 minutes gone and made the signs look even more ominous for the Scots. The centre picked an inside line and evaded the defenders to score under the posts and give his side a 26-0 lead. 

Rory Hughes got the Scots on the scoreboard just moments before half-time with an interception try. Scottish were struggling with just 27% possession in the opening 40 minutes, but Hughes intercepted from 50 metres and raced clear to score. Peter Lydon’s conversion made the half time score 26-7 to Bedford. 

A crucial period in the opening exchanges of the second half saw the Scots have a line out just five metres from the Bedford line, but with the ball overthrown Bedford then broke away, and minutes later scored their fifth try of the match. Fenton-Wells was in charge of the ball from a driving maul, and just like he did in the first half, drove over to score. 

Scottish responded quickly with a try from Chris Walker, which instigated an improved second-half performance. It was the Scots’ turn to have a rolling maul near the line, and the New Zealander drove over to make the score 31-12 with 30 minutes left. 

George Horne was close to scoring on the hour mark, but as the scrum-half looked to sneak past the defenders from the base of a scrum the ball was knocked on and the opportunity was lost. 

With the Scots pressing on the Bedford line for the majority of the final quarter, they lacked the final product but were rewarded with a penalty try in the last minute. Lee Millar ran on to a flat pass just inches from the line, and was taken out via a high tackle, which the referee judged to have been illegal. Le Bourgeois was sent to the sin-bin, and the Scots got a seven-pointer with Lydon converting. 

In the final play of the game Scottish pressed for what would have been a try-bonus point, but they were unable to threaten the line and Bedford held out for an impressive Greene King IPA Championship victory in front of the Sky Sports cameras. 

With no match next weekend, the Scots are back in action on Saturday 16th January at home to Ospreys Premiership Select XV in the British and Irish Cup.

Bedford Blues:
15. Piers O’Conor 14. Pat Tabley 13. Michael LeBourgeois 12. Tom Griffiths 11. George Perkins 10. Jake Sharp 9. Henry Taylor 1. Alex Lundberg 2. Charlie Clare (replaced by Tom Williams) 3. Phil Bouton 4. Mike Howard (replaced by Paul Tupai) 5. Mark Flanagan 6. Josh Buges 7. Nick Fenton-Wells (c) 8. Joel Conlon

Replacements:
16. Tom Williams 17. Biyi Alo 18. Justin Blanchet 19. Paul Tupai 20. Jordan Burns 21. Myles Dorrian 22. Steffan Jones

Scorers:
Tries: Mike Howard (14 minutes) Mark Flanagan (20 minutes) Nick Fenton-Wells (26, 46 minutes) Michael Le Bourgeois (38 minutes)
Conversions: Jake Sharp (20, 26, 38 minutes)
Yellow Card: Michael Le Bourgeois

London Scottish:
15 Peter Lydon 14 Jason Harries 13 Robbie Fergusson 12 Oli Grove (replaced by Lee Millar) 11 Rory Hughes (replaced by Russell Weir) 10 Dan Newton 9 George Horne (replaced by Matt Heeks) 1 Jack Cosgrove (replaced by Kurt Schonert) 2 David Cherry (replaced by Adam Kwasnicki) 3 Matt Shields (replaced by Jimmy Litchfield) 4 Rory Bartle 5 Will Carrick Smith 6 Mark Bright (c) 7 Chris Walker (replaced by Tyrone Moran) 8 Freddie Clarke

Replacements:
16 Kurt Schonert 17 Adam Kwasnicki 18 Jimmy Litchfield 19 Tyrone Moran 20 Matt Heeks  21 Lee Millar 22 Russell Weir

Scorers:
Tries: Rory Hughes (40 minutes) Chris Walker (52 minutes) Penalty Try (80 minutes)
Conversions: Peter Lydon (40, 80 minutes)

Officials:
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Lionel Spooner & Phillip Watters
Fourth Official: Andre Jackson
Television Match Official: Rowan Kitt

Half-Time: Bedford Blues 26 – 7 London Scottish

Full-Time: Bedford Blues 31 – 19 London Scottish

Sky Sports Man-Of-The-Match: Nick Fenton-Wells

Attendance: 4341

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