Bedford 18 v 17 Brentwood (London & South East Premier Division) 8th December 2018
By ALAN C. HUDSON
Roles reversed as Brentwood lose to a late score away to Bedford
Brentwood travelled to Bedford on Saturday in good spirits after the hard earned win against Tring the week before, that transferred onto the pitch where they put together a great attacking 40 minutes of running rugby. The half was only tarnished by allowing the home side to put together some phases just on halftime and only take a 10 point lead into the second half. That try kept Bedford in touch and they took the spoils with a late try after dominating the closing stages. Brentwood had Adam Thomas back in the side and Josh Stannard had recovered sufficiently to take a place on the bench, spencer Owen started on the wing in place of Henry Galligan who had picked up an injury during the win against Tring the week before.
A knee injury after just 3 minutes to the impressive prop Joe Mcmillan rocked Brentwood but they still had control of the match for virtually the entire half, keeping Bedford out with some fantastic defence before breaking quickly. Ben Patterson and Ben Amato carried strongly to set up an attack and a deft Bradley Burr grubber sat up perfectly for Spencer Own to collect and score in the corner, the strong wind pushing the conversion attempt wide. More pressure was rewarded on on 25 minutes when Jack Richards finished off a fine rolling maul from a lineout, Burr drilled the conversion through the wind and posts to move to 0-12. Another fluent move and smart offload from Adam Thomas put Charlie Wilkinson clear and after beating 4 players he was held up just short of the line, quick thinking and an accurate pass from James White to Burr saw him score his second try of the season, the conversion was missed but Brentwood were in full control. A break from deep and a quick feet from Ed Hornby and Owen saw Bedford reduced to 14 men after the opposition winger was harshly treated for an offence at the breakdown when Owen was eventually dragged down inside the 22. Two more great attacks came to nothing after poor handling brought them to a frustrating end but Bedford were not in the game and, apart from a couple of lineouts and scrum in Brentwood’s 22, they had not threatened the visitors’ line. That was to change on 37 minutes when a Brentwood handling error gifted Bedford the ball and they broke from deep, with both forwards and backs making good ground they scored close to the posts to quieten the away visitors going into halftime. It seemed to be a small setback at the time but seemed to galvanise the home team and they were a vastly improved side in the second half.
H/T: Bedford 7 – 17 Brentwood
When the second half started the script had not changed, Brentwood looked dangerous going forward but again they squandered a number of scoring opportunities, good hands from Burr put Richards into some space, he held up his man beautifully and put Dan Suttle clear down the wing, the second row showed great pace but was tackled just short and the chance was gone. Similar breaks came to nothing and on 60 minutes Bedford’s handling improved and they started to find gaps in the Brentwood defence, they forced a number of penalties, kicking 2 to move within 4 points at 13-17. Brentwood had chances but again they fell short when in good positions, Bedford punished them with a scintillating 10 minutes of attacking rugby that the away team repelled with fantastic defence until the pressure told and they scored a try on 78 minutes, with the conversion missed Brentwood were on the wrong end of a 1 point difference with a minute on the clock. A botched lineout from Bedford gave then great field position just inside their 10 metre line but 3 phases later a dropped ball saw the chance gone and only 1 losing bonus point to show for a fine 60 minute display that deserved better. Bedford were untouchable for a 15 minutes period and proved their recent results, particularly at home, were no flukes. They have some impressive players and took the game to Brentwood, however this was a game that they had no right to win and if Brentwood had finished their many chances the game would have been out of their sights.
Team: Sherwood, Payne, Mcmillan, Killington, Suttle, Bassenger, Amato (C), Patterson, White, Lucas-Roast, Owen, Parris, Burr, Wilkinson, Hornby Subs: Bevans-Royston, Amato, Stannard