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Winning run ended by Bedford Blues

Winning run ended by Bedford Blues

London Scottish lost their opening match of 2014 this afternoon going down to a disappointing 21-13 defeat at Bedford Blues.

London Scottish lost their opening match of 2014 this afternoon going down to a disappointing 21-13 defeat at Bedford Blues.

The visitors never recovered from conceding two early tries at a wet and windswept Goldington Road.

MPU

They were given a lifeline in the final quarter when Blues second row forward Paul Tupai was sent off for punching Eric Fry.

Mark Bright crossed for a try almost immediately after but despite narrowing the gap to 15-13, Bedford pulled away late on thanks to James Pritchard's two penalties which denied Scottish a losing bonus point.

The defeat ends a run of five straight league wins with London Scottish now returning to British and Irish Cup action a week on Saturday at Edinburgh Accies.

Following a quiet opening, this game came to life on 12 minutes after scrum-half Jordi Pasqualin's attempted clearance kick was charged down inside his own 22.

When the ball was recycled by the hosts, stand-off Mark Atkinson's clever grubber kick was gathered by Michael Le Bourgeois who touched down ahead of Scottish full-back Jim Thompson.

James Pritchard's conversion was successful and it got better for the Blues seven minutes later when number eight Nick Fenton-Wells burrowed his way over from close range for a second try.

This time Pritchard's kick from the touchline was off target.

Scottish finally got into the game soon after with David Lyons and Jim Thompson both inches short from scoring before referee John Meredith pulled play back for a penalty.

Lee Millar made no mistake from the tee to cut the deficit to nine points.

On the stroke of half-time Pritchard kicked a penalty to move his side 15-3 ahead at the break.

Bedford enjoyed plenty of territory and possession in the first half and their play probably merited more points on the board at half-time.

Scottish were disjointed at times lacking penetration with ball in hand whilst making a number of elementary errors.

Pritchard missed a difficult penalty early in the second half which would have put clear daylight between the sides but Millar made no mistake at the other end, his penalty making it 15-6.

Full-back Pritchard missed another penalty soon after and it got worse for the hosts on the hour mark when Paul Tupai was sent off.

From the resulting attacking line-out Mark Bright crashed over in the left hand corner, Millar's superb conversion making it a two point game.

Scottish pressed for the decisive score with winger Mike Doneghan denied a try in the corner on 71 minutes after putting a foot in touch as he crossed the try line.

Bedford then took control in the closing stages with Pritchard's two penalties securing victory which moves the Blues up to seventh in the Greene King IPA Championship.

His final penalty denied Scottish the chance to move up to third place in the standings and they instead remain fifth.

– Listen to Mike Friday's post-match interview here.

– London Scottish's next home match is on Saturday January 18 against London Welsh in a B&I Cup clash.

To book tickets and hospitality, click here.

Bedford Blues: 15. James Pritchard, 14, Neville Edwards, 13, Corey Hircock, 12, Mike Le Bourgeois, 11, Aaron Morris, 10, Mark Atkinson, 9, Darryl Veenendaal, 1, Darren Fearn, 2, Charlie Clare, 3, Ben Cooper, 4, Mike Howard, 5, Paul Tupai, 6, Tom Jubb, 7, Matt Hankin, 8, Nick Fenton-Wells.

Used replacements: 19, Ben Gulliver, 20, Gregor Gillanders, 17, Nico Steenkamp, 18, Phil Boulton.

Unused replacements: 16, Antonio Harris, 18, Phil Boulton, 21, Harry Peck, 22, Jake Sharp.

Tries: Le Bourgeois, Fenton-Wells.

Conversions: Pritchard

Penalties: Pritchard (3)

Sent off: Paul Tupai.

London Scottish: 15, Jim Thompson, 14, Mike Doneghan, 13, Oli Grove, 12, Andy Reay, 11, Miles Mantella, 10, Lee Millar, 9, Jordi Pasqualin, 1, Eric Fry, 2, Adam Kwasnicki, 3, Tomas Francis, 4, Tyler Hotson, 5, David Lyons, 6, Ben Russell, 7, Tommy Spinks, 8, Mark Bright (c).

Used replacements: 22, PJ Gidlow, 19, Matt Everard, 16, Tom Dunn, 17, Mark Irish.

Unused replacements:18, Alex Karonias, 20, Dan Newton, 21, Dante Mama.

Tries: Bright.

Conversions: Millar.

Penalties: Millar (2).

Referee: John Meredith

Assistant referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys and Lionel Spooner.

Attendance: 2,555. 

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