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Match Reports 2013-14

Bedford 31 Jersey 41

29/04/2014

Bedford Blues 31 Jersey 41
by Tom Innes

Jersey faced down the threat of Championship relegation - a fine
mess of their own making - and responded magnificently in their
final league match of 2013/14. The Island side played their
get-out-of-jail cards with aplomb, and will be back for another
crack at level two rugby next season.

Celebs
Celebrations for Jersey boys James Voss, Jack Burroughs, Jon
Brennan and Luke Stratford

Although Jersey's destiny also depended on another game, taking
place 50 miles away in West London, Harvey Biljon's side stayed
true to pre-match pledges to concentrate on the matter they could
control.

Wearing their 'home' red strip for the contest against the Blues
of Bedford, Jersey were determined from the start and an assured
40-metre penalty from Aaron Penberthy was a decent start, albeit
that home kicker James Pritchard soon cancelled the advantage when
Jack Burroughs was collared and penalised for not releasing the
ball on his own 22.

The visitors looked potent in attack from an early stage, and
took full advantage after Bedford number 8 Don Barrell was shown a
yellow card for a trip. The penalty was kicked to the corner, and a
rolling maul ended in a try for Nick Campbell; six minutes later
Jersey crossed again - this time Nicky Griffiths the scorer, the
scrum-half racing 25 metres to the line after a fine break and
off-load by Sam Lockwood.

Bed Lineout

The sizeable Jersey contingent at Goldington Road were almost as
stunned as the home faithful by the 3-15 advantage, but there
wasn't much comfort to be taken as Bedford rallied with a two-try
salvo of their own. Jake Sharp was superbly hauled down in the
corner by Ben Maidment after breaking through, but before Jersey
could clear, Harry Peck jinked through half a gap and fed Harry
Wells for the first, and then Ollie Dodge scored to help his side
to a 17-15 lead.

On a day when every kick was potentially vital, Penberthy had
packed his kicking boots; the fly-half restored Jersey's advantage
with a 28th-minute penalty as the visitors survived a 10-minute
spell without flanker Ryan Hodson after the flanker was
yellow-carded for a high tackle.

Back to full strength, Jersey looked to extend their advantage
before half-time. Two attacking lineouts came to nothing, but then
as the referee played advantage following a Bedford offence,
Penberthy slotted through a grubber kick and Drew Locke claimed a
carbon-copy of his try against London Scottish seven days
earlier.

After no scrums in the opening 28 minutes, Jersey's pack began
to dominate the set piece, having also held the advantage in the
lineout, where former Jersey hooker Charlie Clare had a day to
forget, in contrast to the accurate arrows of his opposite number
Elvis Taione. In the first scrum of the second half Jersey won a
penalty to extend their advantage to 11 points. But Bedford
responded again with a try for Brendan Burke, and soon afterwards a
major brawl erupted, with a surprising lack of cards from referee
Andrew Small. On the hour it was all-square as Jerseyman Michael Le
Bourgeois crossed against his old team, finding a chink in a
defence that generally stood up well to the threat posed by the
Blues.

Jersey needed one more surge in the closing stages, and with
news emerging that Ealing might salvage something from their game,
Biljon passed on instructions that Jersey should push for a fourth
try. A kickable penalty was sent to touch, and Bedford had no
answer to their opponents' rumbling maul, other than to concede a
penalty try.

Boosted by the try bonus point - their first of the season - the
Islanders looked to ensure a maximum points haul for the first time
in 45 Championship matches, and a Penberthy penalty - his eighth
successful kick in nine attempts - brought valuable breathing
space.

Time was passing slowly, and as the scoreboard clock passed 80
minutes it was clear there would be more to add. Neither side had
much more gas in the tank, and soon after the 86-minute mark a
momentous game - and an eventful Championship season - was brought
to an end. Had there ever been any doubt?

Report reproduced by kind permission of the Jersey Evening
Post

Bunny
The Jersey squad presented Bunny Le Saux with a signed shirt to
thank him for his loyal support in criss-crossing the country in
support of the team from his Southampton home (pic - Adam
Budworth)

Jersey
Forwards: Sam Lockwood, Elvis Taione, Nick Selway, Nick
Campbell, James Voss, Alex Rae (capt), Ryan Hodson (YC 22), Ben
Maidment. Half-backs: Nicky Griffiths, Aaron Penberthy.
Backs: Ed Dawson, David Bishop, Drew Locke, Mark Foster,
Jack Burroughs.
Replacements: Sean McCarthy for Lockwood (45 min), Latu
Maka'afi for Maidment (53), Mark McCrea for Bishop (65), Jon
Brennan for Selway (68), Joe Buckle for Voss (70), Jimmy Williams
for Griffiths (76), Luke Stratford for Taione (79).

Bedford
Fearn, Clare, Boulton, Howard, Wells, Gillanders, Harding, Barrell
(YC 8) Peck, Sharp; Dodge, Burke, Le Bourgeois, Tapley, Pritchard.
Replacements (all used): Harris, Steenkamp, Gilardon-Paz, Tupai,
Vandermolen, Veenendaal, Hircock.

Referee: Andrew Small
Attendance: 2,659
Half-time: 17-25

Stat Box (home team first)
Penalties conceded 15-10
Lineouts won 8-12
Lineouts lost 5-1
Scrums won 3-6
Scrums lost 2-1

Kickers: Pritchard (Bedford) 5 from 5; Penberthy
(Jersey) 8 from 9

Scorers
Bedford
Tries: Wells 21, Dodge 23, Burke 48, Le Bourgeois
60
Conversions: Pritchard 21, 23, 48, 60
Penalty: Pritchard 5

Jersey
Tries: Campbell 9, Griffiths 15, Locke 40, Penalty Try
68
Conversions: Penberthy 9, 40, 68
Penalties: Penberthy: 2, 28, 47, 53, 74

Bill Price Right
'HIGHER!' Chairman Bill Dempsey does his finest Bruce Forsyth
impression during the post-match festivities

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