Bedford Blues 29 Doncaster Knights 28: Spirited Knights condemned to fourth straight defeat

Tom James
Tom James

Doncaster Knights produced a spirited comeback at Bedford Blues but could not prevent a fourth straight Championship defeat.

The home side led 24-7 in the second half but ended up clinging on for a 29-28 victory.

It could have been a different story had former Blues scrum half Tom James not elected to try and score himself inside the Bedford 22 on 72 minutes with men outside of him with Knights trailing 24-21.

Knights banked two well deserved bonus points courtesy of a battling second half performance which had fourth-placed Bedford, who led 17-0 at the break, hanging on at the end.

Playing down the infamous slope, Bedford wasted little time in racing into an early 10-0 lead with a brace of unconverted tries by centre Lewis Rubling and fly-half Dean Adamson.

Knights managed to steady the ship and had looked to be going in just 10-0 down.

But a lineout against the throw in their 22 eventually led to skipper Will Hooley finding Rich Lane out wide with a clever kick and he touched down near enough for Adamson to convert.

Knowing that they realistically needed to score first after the break, Knights started the second half strongly and the decision to kick for position rather than goal from an early penalty paid off when back-rower Wille Ryan forced his way over for a 42nd minute try. Record points scorer Dougie Flockhart added the extras.

Any hopes Knights may have entertained of making further inroads into Bedford’s lead at that stage were dashed when Adamson cashed in on an overlap when touching down in the corner despite the efforts of Clark. Hooley tagged on the conversion to make it 24-7.

McColl touched down for Knights’ second converted try on the hour after James managed to get the ball back to him as he went down close to the line following some good support play.

Knights were in again five minutes later, Josh Tyrell capping an impressive performance when reaching out of the tackle to score near enough for Flockhart to convert.

Kurt Murtagh produced a timely tackle as Bedford threatened just outside the Doncaster 22 with James getting to within ten metres of the line from an overlap two minutes later.

Hooker Sean McCarthy scored what proved to be the match-winning try on 80 minutes but Nick Civetta touched down for a fourth converted try deep in stoppage time to set-up a dramatic finish.

Knights: McColl, Flockhart, Hayes, Clark, Wilson, Foley, James; Hislop, Hunter, Quigley, Civetta, Challinor, Ryan, Hills, Tyrell. Rep: Nelson, List, Mullen, Eames, Booth, Seniloli, Morath.