Albion made a strong start and within the first few minutes a great kick to the corner resulted in a line out and a subsequent penalty The plenty was struck nicely to the corner, with Albion winning line out, the attack was on. The attack was successful and the first try of the game scored by Jordan Gott, with Matt Shepherd adding another two points through a successful conversion from wide out.
Bedford came for the attack and with some really slick handling by the Championship side, Joe Green went over the line for Bedford Blues, fortunately for Albion, they couldn’t convert. 7-5 to Albion.
There were plenty of big hits happening in the midfield from both sides, which resulted in a temporary stoppage on 21 mins to see to an injury to Matt Shepherd.
Following the short stoppage, the Blues were strong on the attack, winning a scrum on Albion’s 10m line. From the scrum the ball went out of play and a line out was awarded to the Blues. With the Blues winning the line out, they stepped up their attack and with good pressure Josh Buggea was able to place the ball over the touch line, followed by a conversion, bringing the score to 7-12 to Bedford Blues.
The final action of the half was a stunning display of speed and cohesion between Dean Adamson & Jamie Elliot of the Blues, with a length of the pitch sprint to place the ball for their third try of the game. The subsequent conversion was successful, bringing the score to 7-19 to Bedford Blues.
HALF TIME: PLYMOUTH ALBION 7 – BEDFORD BLUES 19.
The first half started with the Blues looking to push on from their positive position at half time, but the Albion defence continued to stand strong and following an extensive period of outstanding defence by Albion, the errors were being forced upon the Blues, which resulted in a scrum being awarded.
Albion were back on attack and putting the Championship side under significant pressure, the result…a try by Sam Daly, duly converted by Fraser Honey, making for an interesting finish. The score now at Albion 14, Bedford Blues 19. Game on!
The game continued in the same vain for the rest of the second half, seeing an amazing performance in defence by Albion, although we have to take note of our line outs, they’re not functioning as well as they might and as the match nears the end, the line out was lost and possession was handed to the Blues.
Fortunately, the Blues couldn’t take advantage of the situation and Albion turned over in the ruck, and with an infringement being seen by the referee the Blues were shown a yellow card.
After a period of outstanding play by Albion, the break through was made and James Tait took Albion over the line, 19-19 was the score. With the pressure on, Fraser Honey steps up again and scores his second conversion of the game. 21-19 in Albion’s favour!
The Blues were determined to get something out of the game, but Albion held strong. Play was stopped and the Blues are awarded a penalty, they opted to take the 3 points. Penalty missed!
The game ends 21-19 to Albion and you could see what it meant to the team to take the win. What a way to start our preseason!
After the game, Head Coach Kieran Hallett, said; “I’m pleased that we fought hard and showed some great character in the second half to keep going at them. Some of our defensive sets were very good and they didn’t have an answer for our line speed which was great.
To be able to make a side like Bedford, who want to run and attack at every opportunity, kick the ball as much as we did was a big positive for us.”
Some of our set play was not up to scratch, and Kieran had this to say; “We struggled to get our set piece going which meant our set piece attack never really had an impact, but we looked sharp on transition attack and created a lot of opportunities, some of which we took very well. Our discipline was poor at times as well which gave them easy territory which could’ve cost us more.”
Kieran then summarised his thoughts; “It’s a great start, but that’s all it is. We won a game that I think we probably deserved to win, but no one in our camp will be getting too excited. We still have a lot to work on and lots of areas to improve which is exactly what we wanted after our first game. The exciting part for me is that we can still improve a lot on that performance having beaten a Championship side.”
Fraser Honey was named ‘Man of the Match’ on his debut appearance for Albion, Fraser said; “It’s always nice to be given Man of the Match and especially against opposition such as Bedford, but it comes off the back of the boys working really hard and giving me the right platform to work from.”
FULL TIME: PLYMOUTH ALBION 21 – BEDFORD BLUES 19