Bedes Edge Past North Manchester
Old Bedians grind out win against top 4 rivals
As the first half of the revamped season draws to a close, few teams are certain of being in the top half of the draw for the merger of the North and South leagues. Leading into Saturday, Bedes were only a point ahead of North Manchester in the table, so knew they needed a victory against them to remain masters of their own destiny.
North Manchester came out of the blocks the stronger team, with Bedes too eager to kick possession away and not competitive enough at the breakdown. In a half lacking clear-cut chances for either side, North Manchester missed a chance to kick themselves into the lead, and were unable to capitalise when scrum-half Ben Rogerson was binned for not moving rolling away in the tackle. Bedians managed to hold on with 14 men and missed a chance of their own to take the lead with a penalty on the stroke of half time.
Both teams began the second half with more purpose, and although the visitors enjoyed more of the territory, they were unable to make the most of a sustained period in the Bedians’ 22. When Bedians finally were able to make their way out of danger, some quick thinking put fly-half Rob Blewitt clear on the right wing to sprint half way up the pitch to put the hosts 5-0 ahead. North Manchester fired their way back into the match with more hard and direct running, eventually sucking in the Bedians defence and allowing them to bowl over and take the lead 7-5.
Bedes remained calm and worked their way back into opposition territory, and once in the North Manchester 22 their patience paid off: good interplay between forwards and backs creating the momentum and space before replacement Tom Wrigglesworth powered his way over the line. With the conversion missed, the Bedes held a slender 3 point lead, and after more pressure from North Manchester, Bedes fought their way back up before earning a penalty to stretch the lead to 6 in the dying minutes.
Bedes showed grit to hold on for the win, but all credit to North Manchester who will consider themselves unlucky not to have got more out of the game than a losing bonus point, and will certainly still fancy their chances of finishing the regular season in the top 4 off the back of this performance.