All action Knights leave Bedford blue: Doncaster Knights 33 Bedford Blues 12

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A SUPERB all round performance earned the Knights a stunning victory over the Championship’s second placed side.

After failing to go over the whitewash in their last two outings, Doncaster scored four while restricting their high-flying visitors in fine fashion.

Michael Keating, Dougie Flockhart and Andy Boyde all crashed over, alongside a penalty try.

And 12 points conceded all came with the Knights down to 13 men, highlighting the strength of the defensive performance.

Bedford piled on the pressure in the early stages and spent the first five minutes camped in the Knights 22.

But Doncaster stood up well, making two or three excellent try saving stops before David McIlwaine sent Jamie Lennard into touch.

A brilliant clearing kick from McIlwaine sent the Knights on their first attack which earned a penalty, drilled over from 30 metres by McIlwaine himself on six minutes.

McIlwaine landed a second penalty from almost the same position to extend the Knights’ lead but Bedford again responded with a long spell of pressure inside the opposition 22.

However, Doncaster continued to defend superbly and managed to hold up Paul Tupei over the line to keep the Blues out.

Bedford’s persistence forced a penalty but James Pritchard sent it wide on 27 minutes and it was punished shortly afterwards with a brilliant opening try from the Knights.

Fred Burdon surged from his own half before coming under pressure in the 22 and sent a high pass over to Michael Keating who completed the task under the posts.

McIlwaine converted to give the Knights a healthy lead on the half hour.

Bedford again pressured and Doncaster were up to the task until the last few moments of the half.

A mad few seconds saw Michael Noone and Andy Boyde both sinbinned and Bedford took full advantage of the missing bodies.

Expansive passing left the Knights short and swift movement of the ball allowed Don Barrell to crash over, Pritchard converting to halve the deficit in the last action of the half.

The Blues again took advantage in the opening moments of the second half with Doncaster’s disadvantage leaving major gaps in defence.

Brendan Burke found the space before laying off to Josh Bassett who surged into the corner to score.

Pritchard’s missed conversion ensured Bedford would not go ahead.

The Knights performed very well off the ball while still under the disadvantage with Tom Luke making an excellent interception.

Flockhart took possession and made up a lot of ground before Bedford were penalised for offside with McIlwaine slotting over the kick to extend the lead.

The Knights reached their stride when back to full strength, characterised by another superb run from Burdon who dodged several tackles before being stopped just shy of the line with Burke sin binned for a professional foul.

Matters got worse for Bedford when Philip Boulton was shown the yellow card after persistent infringements in the scrum as the Knights continued to pile on the pressure.

Continued fouls within the scrum resulted in a penalty try for the Knights, converted by McIlwaine as the dominance began to gather momentum.

It was Doncaster’s turn to make the number’s advantage tell and they tore Bedford to pieces as they scored the next try.

A pair of great runs down the right brought the Knights inside the 22 before the ball was moved swiftly from one side of the pitch to the other.

McIlwaine popped a brilliant short pass to Keating who darted over but the conversion was missed.

The Knights enjoyed a comfortable last ten minutes and capped the fine performance off with another try.

A kick into the corner set up a scrum five metres out and a clever pass found Boyde who forced his way over from close range to put Bedford to bed.

McIlwaine missed the conversion but it would not take the gloss off a brilliant team performance.

Knights: McIlwaine, Flockhart, Goss, Burdon, Keating (Toft 79), Luke (Gidlow 73), Hallam (Heaney 79), Davies (Burke-Flynn 74), Boden (Yeandle 58), Challinor, Parsons, Boyde, Bradford (Kettle 58), Noone.

Replacements: Burke-Flynn, Kenworthy, Kettle, Gidlow, Heaney, Toft.

Bedford: Pritchard, Vincent, Burke, Staff, Bassett, Lennard (Liebenberg 69), Veenendaal (Sharp 69), Steenkamp, Cochrane, Seal (Boulton 56), Howard, Pailor, Johnson , Barrell, Tupei.

Replacements: Locke, Boulton, Tomes, Gillanders, Liebenberg, Sharp, Vass.