There is no Championship fixture for the 1st XV this week so the 2nd XV take centre…
Caldy will feel this is a game that got away from them. Despite outscoring Bedford by three tries to two they ended up losing 22-26 in a closely fought contest at Paton Field. Caldy’s Head Coach Matt Cairns acknowledged the tightness of the game. ‘’Credit to Beford their game management was better than ours and they punished us with a succession of penalty kicks. It was a flat performance from us which is disappointing.”
After the freezing conditions had led to the late postponement of the original fixture this rearranged game was played in near perfect conditions and for the first 20 minutes Caldy dominated territory and possession. In the opening exchanges Caldy were sharper than Bedford and after numerous well constructed phases powerful winger Reikiti Ma’asi-White dummied his way over the first try. The conversion by Lewis Barker put the home team 7 points ahead and with the Bedford defence working overtime Barker added another three points from a penalty.
The game had been played almost exclusively in the Bedford half but a yellow card to Caldy prop Nathan Rushton changed the momentum and after a period of sustained Bedford pressure prop Osin Heffernan rumbled over for a score converted by William Maisey. Caldy’s over eagerness at the base of the scrum provided Maisey with another penalty opportunity which he took to put the sides level at the break.
It was all finely balanced. After a series of unsuccessful attacks through their backline, the Blues recognised their limitations on a heavy Paton Field surface and switched tactics. Now the Blues were playing the Caldy way, exerting pressure up front and it was working A ‘false’ engagement at a Caldy scrum wasn’t reset and the Blues took advantage turning over possession to put Jac Arthur in at the corner which Maisey converted to give the visitors the lead for the first time in the match.
The penalty count was mounting against the home side and although the Ravers scored two further tries through Matt Gallagher and JJ Dickinson, Maisey’s metronome boot rattled up a further 9 points through penalties to give Bedford a narrow away win 22 – 26.
There was little to chose between the sides with the momentum changing every 20 minutes but it was the change in tactics and Caldy’s faltering discipline in the middle part of the contest which allowed the visitors to manage their way to victory.