It’s always an exciting game when Nottingham clash with Bedford Blues, and this afternoon was no different. Nottingham won in an extremely tight affair thanks to some outstanding defence in the final 15 minutes to keep out a number dangerous Blues attacks.
Bedford struck first inside the first five minutes. They tried a cheeky grubber kick through the defence and it looked as if David Williams would be able to cut it out comfortably, but a horrible bounce at the last second made him mishandle it and give the ball straight back to the Blues. A few moments later Alex Day got through for the score.
Nottingham responded with a beautifully executed driving maul to get Nathan Tweedy over the line after kicking a penalty to the corner. Sam Hollingsworth managed to slot the conversion from a tough distance and angle to take the lead.
The Green and Whites extended their lead 10 minutes later. They worked their way up to the try line and then Hollingsworth whipped out a sensational pass to Tweedy who had found himself on the left wing. Tweedy dived over the line for his second try of the afternoon with less than twenty minutes gone
Despite Nottingham being on top for pretty much the whole of the first half, Bedford managed to get some points back with 10 minutes to go until the break. A really well worked attack was finished off when Kayde Sylvester pushed over the line for the try.
Nottingham came back though and so nearly got another try. They worked it all the way up to the try line and David Williams bulldozed his way through a number of Bedford tackles to push over the line, but the referee ruled that the ball had been held up.
No matter though, as Ryan Olowofela scored just a couple of minutes later. He scooped up a misplaced Bedford pass at the halfway line and turned on the after burners to take it all the way to the house to give the home side a 21-12 lead at the half.
The visitors started the second half just as they started the first; with a try. After some nice driving in the middle to get it up to the try line, they spread it out wide for George Hendy who got over to bring the score to just a two-point gap.
With end to end action entertaining the crowd, Nottingham eventually got their first try of the second half with 25 minutes into it. Some brilliant all-around rugby created a good amount of space for Hollingsworth on the left hand wing. He kicked it over the top of the defence up the sideline and beat the retreating defenders to it, landing on it past the try line for the bonus point try
However, Beford immediately responded. Sean French, only just back on from his sin bin for a tackle in the air on Hollingsworth, burst through the gap in the try line defence for the score and bring the difference to just two points once again.
With fifteen minutes to go, Bedford began to control the game, looking for the try that would give them the lead. The Blues kept bringing relentless attack after relentless attack, but the Green and White defence was immaculate, keeping them out every time until the referee blew the final whistle.
After that fantastic result, Nottingham will have another big challenge on their hands next weekend, as they travel to Jersey to take on the second placed Reds.