Our website uses cookies throughout our system and to help us provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or click here to change your settings

Bedford Athletic - 100th Anniversity Match

Result: Bedford Athletic 41 - Penguins International XV 67

Bedford Athletic celebrated their Centenary in style at Putnoe Woods on Saturday with an 18 try festival of rugby. Although the final score was 67 points to 41 in the Penguin XV’s favour the result was less important than the entertainment offered in a competitive game enjoyed by a large crowd on a sunny afternoon.

Bedford Athletic included past favourites such as Mouritz Botha (Bedford), Simon Lincoln (Luton) and Darren Stapleton (Bedford Swifts) in their side. The Penguins included Scottish international Craig Joiner on the left wing but it was the home side that made the initial inroads. From a lineout won by the impressive Botha the equally impressive Ath captain Phil Elphick cut a good line back across the defence to touch down for the opening try on 2 minutes, Ashley Tapper converting. The Penguins were not slow to respond and soon they had capitalised on a couple of unforced errors to set up camp in the home side’s 22. Tommy Turner the Rugby Lions fly half scored their first try of the day and Jack Wrigglesworth of Bedford the second. Craig Joiner made his class tell when he outpaced the Ath defence for the third and after nine minutes the Penguins were 19-7 ahead.

The home side came back into the game strongly and led by the bullocking runs of Botha and Garry Acton and the speed of Fernely Simmonds looked threatening. However another dropped ball allowed the Penguins to run in their fourth try on 23 minutes through prop forward James Graham of Bedford. Scott Grant finally converted some of the home side’s pressure on 29 minutes and the scrum halves then swapped tries before half time. First Harry Peck of Luton broke away for the Penguins and then Ollie Peck of Bedford Athletic outpaced the visiting defence from the ten metre line. This left the Penguins leading by 29 points to 19 at half time.

The start of the second half saw the Penguins blow the home side away with four tries in ten minutes. The introduction of Bedford back row Marc Comb had a lot to do with it and he rampaged through the home side twice in this period. Bedford captain Matt Allen added another and prop Graham a second in a period of Bedford Blues dominance that took the score to 55-19. The home side were not a spent force however and on 56 minutes prop Andrew Grounds crossed for their fourth try. The Penguins answered in kind this time through replacement John MacDonough. With a series of substitutions on the hour mark Ath found some breathing space. On 64 minutes Athletic mauled a line out drive to the line and Mouritz Botha barged over. The conversion by Simon Lincoln now kicking for the concussed Ashley Tapper brought the score back to 62-31. Replacement Piotrowski scored the final try of the day for the Penguins on 67 minutes, Turner missed the conversion but already had 6 to his name. The final ten minutes belonged to the home side. On 70 minutes Phil Elphick started and finished a move down the left wing and with 2 minutes to go Ath benefited from a strong surge into the 22 by Botha, The referee adjudged the ball to have been held up over the line but from the resultant scrum, Scott Grant crossed for the final try of the day.

The Colts shared in the celebrations on Sunday when they won the Centenary Lord Luke Sevens Tournament. Round robin wins against Ampthill, Dunstablians, Northampton BBOB and their own second team set up a final against Ampthill. The superior skills and pace of the Ath Colts told and they ran out winners by 42 points to 7 having scored 26 tries in total in the tournament. The Centenary celebrations continue on Saturday at Putnoe Woods as the club hosts the County Championship match between East Midlands and Kent with a 3pm start and on Sunday the Bedford Athletic Colts travel to Wellingborough to take part in the East Midlands Colts 7s.

Bedford Athletic Penguins
Andrew Grounds1James Graham (Bedford Blues)
Richard Matthews2Matt Price (Rugby Lions)
Craig Mitcherson3Tristan Wati (Rugby Lions)
Mouritz Botha4Jon Phillips (Bedford Blues - Captain)
Peter Taylor5Arthur Brenton (Bedford Blues)
Andrew Dockray6Sam Viggers (Rugby Lions)
Scott Grant7Lawrence Coward (Bedford School)
Garry Acton8John West (Sidcup)
Ollie Peck9Harry Peck (Luton)
Ashley Tapper10Tommy Turner (Rugby Lions)
Simon Lincoln11Craig Joiner (Edinburgh & Scotland)
Phil Elphick12Jack Wrigglesworth (Bedford Blues)
Ben Campbell13Matt Allen (Bedford Blues)
Fernely Simmonds14Ryan Owen (Bedford Blues)
Ryan Spence15James Hinkins (Bedford Blues)
Sheldon ReyneckeRoman Piotrowski (Rugby Lions)
Darren StapletonJohn MacDonough (Sidcup)
Ollie WillsGeorge Warner (Bedford School)
Mike CurryMarc Comb (Bedford Blues)
Ross ThomsonIain Sinclair (Watsonians & Edinburgh)
Ian Skingsley
Matt Cornish
Ed Axon
Chris Eldridge
Giles Witheat
Matt Aldwinckle

Jack Speak
Community Group
Jack Speak
Community Group