Greene King IPA Championship
Ealing Trailfinders 21-23 Bedford Blues
This is getting cruel.
It looked as if Ealing would haul themselves off the foot of the table with a welcome victory, but right at the death Bedford broke and from the resulting line-out Mike Howard pinched the ball, helped win a penalty, and Jones slottedthe win.
It all looked so promising.
Ben Ward’s side started strongly and Tristan Roberts’ penalty opened the scoring after seven minutes following a powerful scrum. Three minutes later though Jake Sharp levelled the scores with a penalty of his own after a break by George Perkins.
Trailfinders hit back when Roberts picked out Toby Howley-Berridge with a pin-point kick to score the first try.
Ealing built on the lead when Alun Walker crashed over following excellent work from a driven line-out catch.
Alex Bradley unfortunately had a spell in the sin-bin, and could only watch while Bedford scrum-half Jordan Burns set up Piers O’Connor, who although stopped just short of the line, popped the ball to wing Dean Adamson who scored in the corner.
Bedford No 8 Hayden Thompson-Stringer then burst off the back of a scrum and off-loaded to O’Connor who had a clear run to the line.
Jake Sharp converted both scores, and although Alex Davies missed a penalty, he then landed his next effort to ensure the hosts were 18-17 ahead at the break.
Rugged no-quarter stalemate was the order of the next 31 minutes, but then Jones landed a second penalty.
Davies responded in kind with six minutes to go - but the slender single point advantage was dashed at the last when along came Jones with a third and final coffin nail.
Tries (Howley-Berridge 16, Walker 17), Conversions (Davies 17), Penalties (Roberts 7, Davies 35, 74)
Tries (Adamson 23, O’Conor 32), Conversions (Sharp 23, 32), Penalties (Sharp 10, Jones 71, 80)