Local bragging rights for Bedes
2nd XV victorious in Didsbury derby.
After a few seasons of inactivity where the two clubs of Didsbury haven’t had many opportunities to meet each other in the league, promotions and reorganisations have led to five opportunities for the rivals to cross swords this season. In the year’s previous three encounters the Bedians have come out on top, and they were determined to make it four in a row whilst continuing their push up the league ladder against Toc H 3rd XV.
The 2nd XV have benefitted from a relatively settled squad for most of the season, but injuries and unavailability across the club had led to a number of enforced changes. Maybe this was the explanation for a tense start, as both teams were feeling their way into the contest, and indiscipline was costing the hosts and visitors. It wasn’t long before Bedes’ pack began to assert some dominance, forcing a couple of breakdown penalties which captain Mike Gallagher was able to kick to the corner to put Toc under pressure. Toc’s stubborn defence was eventually cracked by a typical barnstorming run from Campbell to give Bedes the lead. Penalties were exchanged by both teams before Bedes began to really crank up the pressure. James Hennigan produced some excellent work at the lineout whilst Steve McKendrick was leading the charge with some ferocious carries over the gain line. Once the forwards had done the hard work, the ball was able to be worked to the backs, where Toc were repeatedly undone by either the jinking runs of fly half Rob Oliver or the powerful running from centre Vince Betty. By the end of the half the damage was done, and Bedes were ahead 32-3.
The half time talk was about trying to turn the screw, but Toc came out the more determined team afterwards. They had used their powerful inside centre to good effect throughout, but Steve Kingston defended admirably throughout to slow him down. Toc were unlucky to have received a couple of injuries by this point which didn’t help their cause. After weathering the Toc storm, Bedes worked their way back up the pitch, and were rewarded when scrum-half Gallagher ghosted his way through the defenders from a scrum to score one more try. From this point the game lost its edge as a contest, as both teams began making more mistakes and the referee’s whistle became an all-too-common sound.
Bedians eventually came away 39-3 winners, chuffed not only to have beaten their rivals, but the attitude with which they played, including the defensive effort to shut out a talented Toc H team whose attack would have reaped more rewards on other days. Thanks go to Toc H: it was nice to see a local derby played in the spirit of the game, and we wish them well for the rest of the season.
As a final thought, on the weekend Old Bedians said our goodbyes to club legend Keith Seville, it was fitting we gave a performance over our neighbours that he would have been proud of.