A beautiful winter morning welcomed the travelling faithful to Bedford for a much needed post Christmas friendly. The boys were itching to get going after a long break from rugby. Unfortunately Bedford were a few players short but in the spirit of the game we were able to lend them some players to make up the numbers to ensure a full match could be played. It was a true mix of our whole squad from A, B and C teams and they were a credit to our club.
From the kick off OAs showed their intent and the forwards pushed on into Bedford territory. The game was briefly halted while a Bedford player received some medical treatment. As the match resumed OAs won a scrum and the ball was fizzed along the back for a rampant Sheldon to score in the corner. 0-5
From the restart Bedford got close but a solid OAs defence drove us back into the Blue’s half. Play was a little scrappy at times but probably due to it being the first game back after Christmas. It was nice to see some good clear outs from the ruck but OAs could not get into a rhythm. Bedford had a spell of possession but again OAs defence was a match and they did not score.
In the next phase of good OAs ball Olly DP went on a charge on the right and switched left to Olly J. He cut back right and offloaded to the eager backs, another slick passing move found Sheldon once again for another score in the corner. 0-10
Just before half time another Olly DP drive saw him tackled just a metre short of the try line. James Federer didn’t need asking twice and he picked up and ran it in to score under the posts. Tom Wilton converted to make it 0-17 at half time.
The scoreline was not really a true reflection of the game, however OAs took their chances and were the more clinical in attack. Our defence had a real test but held up magnificently.
There is a cliche regards games that are two halves, well we had one on our hands as Bedford in the second half tried to right the wrongs of the first. They also discovered a new weapon of the high ball over the top!!
From a Bedford scrum in OAs half they made a good break and with the kick and chase their nippy winger ran in for their first score. 5-17
In an action replay the same over the top kick gave Bedford pressure but the move ends in a knock on and scrum to OAs on our 5m line. The pressure from Bedford was quickly snuffed out with a strong run down the left from Josh S who was tackled just short of the try line. The ball was quickly recycled and Kieran powered through to score. 5-22
Sheldon was having a great game and perhaps his move of the match saw an amazing run of 60m weaving through the Bedford tackle attempts. Unfortunately he was snagged before he could make his hat-trick. A knock gave Bedford a scrum 5m from their own try line. Bedford found another opportunity to boot a high ball and unfortunately our full back slipped, allowing the home winger a free run to the line. 12-22
OAs were a little guilty of not capitalising on possession with a few knock ons stopping us scoring more.
With the final move of the game an attack by OAs ending with an interception by Bedford to run in under posts 19-22
A thoroughly enjoyable game made possible by our fabulous hosts and the spirit that OAs showed to make up the numbers in a Bedford shirt. Those boys who swapped sides for parts of the game should be applauded.
Match GalleryDom Heath