Bedians defeat Manchester
By Mike Gallagher
Old Bedians came into the game against Manchester and on paper looked to be struggling for form, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Much of their win over a good Manchester side can be credited to a fighting display from an understrength side against Helsby and another character building win against Congleton who fielded a side on the day that belied their position on the table.
Bedians were buoyed from seeing a few familiar faces back this week, however, they knew that this game was going to be far from easy. For starters the Manchester pitch has to be close to the biggest one in all of Christendom and also they were up against a very well drilled, young Manchester side.
The early exchanges were tough going; Bedes were the first to get on the front foot thanks to a storming run from big number 8 Campbell Harriman, but Manchester were soon able to get hold of possession and launch some attacks of their own. Manchester used their speed to their advantage and moved the ball laterally quite well and managed to get some early field position camping themselves inside the Bedes 22. Strong defence around the ruck forced Manchester to look laterally and Bedes were able to see off the most threatening period of attack in the game.
From dominating field position, Manchester soon found themselves back in their own half with Bedians kick chase putting pressure on the back three. Once established with field position, Bedians were able to open the scoring though flanker Andrew Schofield who darted cleverly from beside the ruck to catch everyone off guard. This seemed a real critical blow to the hosts and Bedes stepped up the pace going through the gears with forwards punching holes through the opposition which allowed the backs freedom to move. Two more tries finished off the half; powerhouse Vince Betty through the centre and fullback Adam Sims with a neat finish off a well worked backs move. Two of the three converted by Mike Gallagher.
The second half started as the first finished, with Bedes in ascendency and Manchester doing a lot of defending. For a brief period Bedians were guilty of pushing too many passes and it meant that a few opportunities went begging. However, after a frank conversation on the matter, Bedes were able to regain composure and not long later a storming run by flanker Chazz Oxlade gave Bedes the opportunity to send a miss pass out wide with good hands eventually finding flanker Schofield who added his second for the day Conversion successful. Bedes final try was an outstanding piece of footwork from unwell centre Rob Oliver. Again forwards had punched their way into the Manchester 22 and Rob was able to capitalise with some individual brilliance, stepping through five defenders to go through under the posts. The successful conversion gave Bedes a 33-0 lead going into the last 15 minutes.
Although down on the scoreboard, the classy Manchester side were far from beaten and the last 10 minutes saw them rally to try to get themselves on the scoreboard. Camped in the Bedes 22 they launched wave after wave of attack at the line being repelled by some desperate defence. A succession of penalties allowed Manchester to wear down the defence and they managed to get over for the last score of the game. Final score Old Bedians 33 Manchester 7.
It’s tight at the top of the table and Bedians know they must produce more performances like this to be in the race for the title by season’s end. Next game is Lymm at home.