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Knights lose out at Bedford.

Bedford Blues 31-23 Doncaster Knights.

Doncaster Knights search for a first away win of the season continues as Bedford Blues mounted a second half fight back to record a 31-23 victory under the lights at Goldington Road.

The Knights did not lose the game through lack of opportunity, with the side creating plenty and could arguably have been out of sight at half time had they executed better in the opening forty.

Playing with the slope, Donny looked determined to keep posession and play nice, fast rugby. Despite spending the majority of the opening ten minutes with ball in hand it was the Blues who struck first thanks to a penalty from the boot of Will Maisey; extending the lead to six soon after.

Sam Olver reduced the deficit to and  it didn’t take long for the Knights to improve on their score as Gareth Denman squeezed in against the posts after a series of pick and go carries post line out. Olver’s conversion made it 10-6 which was no less than the Knights deserved.

A lapse in concentration then let the Blues back in as winger Pat Tapley chased down a Rich Lane grubber kick to capitalize on a spill from Billy McBryde and stroll over to restore Bedford’s lead.

The try didn’t halt the Knights early momentum and they registered a second score soon after. This time Alex Dolly darted through a gap after his forwards had inched to the try line with another patient driving line out.

With the score at 17-11 Bedford were hanging on and as the Knights attacking phases mounted more scores seemed inevitable. Unfortunately, the Knights could not convert and the Blues escaped, going into the interval still within touching distance.

The Blues emerged revitalized for the second period and retook the lead with a fine score on 42 minutes. Full back Rich Lane finishing a pacey move under the posts after collecting a fine pass from Maisey.

A smart move from the corner further extended the Blues’ lead ten minutes later, with replacement Tui Uru diving over and Maisey slotting a tight conversion, extending Bedford’s advantage to eight points.

With the clocking ticking on the Knights’ strategy of going for the corner with penalties was dumped in favour of points, as two further Olver penalties reduced the gap once again to just two.

Sadly, the Knights were unable to prevent Will Maisey from matching his counterpart whose boot always kept Bedford just ahead of the game.

At 28-23 and ten minutes to play the Knights needed to dig deep into their reserves against a Bedford side motivated by healthy home support.

However, Bedford held firm and, despite late possession for the Knights, confirmed the win via the boot of Maisey; winning 31-23 robbing the Knights of a losing bonus point.

Perhaps unfair to leave Goldington Road without a point but the Knights paid the price for missed opportunities in the first half & will now look to rebuild ahead of the visit of Jersey Reds to Castle Park on Saturday.

Bedford Blues XV 15. Rich Lane (C), 14. Matt Worley, 13. Jamie Elliott, 12. Tom Litchfield (Ethan Grayson 65’), 11. Pat Tapley, 10. Will Maisey, 9. Alex Day (Connor Tupai 55’); 1. Emmanuel Iyogun (Joey Conway 64’), 2. Jack Hughes, 3. Corrie Barrett (Ed Prowse 50’), 4. Brandon Nansen (Luke Frost 50’), 5. Alex Woolford (Josh Pieterse 80’), 6. Bailey Ransom, 7. Joe Atkinson, 8. Oli Stedman (Tui Uru 50’)

Replacements |16. Josh Pieterse, 17. Joey Conway, 18. Ed Prowse, 19. Luke Frost, 20. Tui Uru, 21. Connor Tupai, 22. Louis Grimoldby, 23. Ethan Grayson

Tries; Tapley 30’, Lane 42’, Uru 60’

Conv; Lane 42’, 60’

Pens; Maisey 12’, 15’ 69’, 80’

Knights XV | 15 Billy McBryde, 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Fraser Strachan, 12 Connor Edwards (Mark Best 76’),11 Jack Spittle, 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly, 1 Conrad Cade, 2 George Edgson (George Roberts 59’), 3 Gaz Denman (Henry Paul 77’), 4 Danny Drake, 5 Josh Peters (Jack Davies 59’), 6 John Kelly, 7 Sam Graham ©, 8 Guido Volpi.(Guido Volpi 51’)

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Will Vaughan, 18 Henry Paul, 19 Jack Davies, 20 Sam Hudson, 21 Joe Green, 22 Mark Best, 23 Ronan McCusker

Tries; Denman 22’, Dolly 35’

Conv; Olver 23’, 36’

Pens; Olver 20’, Olver 63’, 70’

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