Tigers Confirm Top-Spot!
Bedford seal semi-final place with solid win!
Bedford Tigers looked to improve on the East RL Cup Final victory by continuing their unbeaten league campaign away at St. Ives this weekend. With Brentwood Eels beating St. Albans Centurions 34-12, and Bedford securing their first win in at St. Ives by 44-30 they secured top-spot in the league and booked a home semi-final.
The Tigers went into this game with five first-team debuts handed to Jack Webb, Chris Elliott, Chris Powell, Trevor Hibbert and Stephen Hill, as well as Colin Liddell making a well-received return to action.
The first try of the game came for Bedford through debutant Hibbert, Josh Spearing busting through a tackle and offloading to Hibbert who scored under the posts. Rob Ashton converted his first of five conversions for the afternoon.
Roosters then pulled a try back after Rhod Howcroft powered over from close range with Paul Ashbridge converting.
The Tigers second try then came from a first tackle break from Ollie Fountain who spotted the St. Ives fullback five metres behind the defensive line, jinxed into the gap and broke from 80 metres and race between the sticks.
Carl Siudak then touched down for his first of the afternoon after the Tigers shifted the ball down the left hand edge and exploited an overlap and the weak Roosters fringe defence. Ashton converted again and Tigers lead 18-6 before the water break.
The water break favoured St. Ives, who scored two more tries through David Sykes with Ashbridge converting both to level the game at 18-18.
Tigers went into half-time with the lead however with two tries of their own. The first was Siudak again scoring his second after running a brilliant line and collecting a flat ball from Lee Walker to crash over on the left hand edge once again. Ashton missing the conversion.
Stephen Hill then scored a try on his debut after wonderful support play following a Lee Walker break, Walker and Colin Liddell interchanged the ball toying with the fullback, and Hill collected the ball from Walker and scored just to the right on the posts. Ashton converting this time, and Bedford headed into the Half-Time break leading 28-18.
The first 20 minutes of the second half was full of errors from both sides, with just one try to both sides in this period, the first came from Bedford winger Charlie Palmer after a fifth and last tackle mix-up lead to Hill running the ball to the blindside and offloading to Palmer who stepped the last defender and dotting down on the again the left-hand wing. Ashton missing his second conversion of the afternoon.
Howcroft then scored his second try for the Roosters after another powerful then from 5 metres out. Ashbridge converting again.
With 20 minutes to go and Tigers only holding an eight-point lead, Sean Tribbeck eased the nerves for Tigers supporters after scoring another length-of-the-pitch try. A St. Ives kick through was pounced on by Tribbeck who lay on the ball for a few seconds before the Roosters defender than straight past him, Tribbeck then jumped up and ran 100 metres, past 3 defenders to score. Ashton converted his final kick of the game to extend the Tigers lead to 14 points.
David Sykes then completed his hat-trick for St. Ives with Ashbridge again converting to bring the deficit down to eight points with five minutes remaining.
The final try of the match came from Bedford to secure the win. Lee Walker collected his own kickoff, and broke 40 metres beating 4 tacklers to put the Tigers 10 metres out with a full-set of tackles remaining, after a central run from Hill, Jordan Marshall collected the ball from Dummy-half and darted under the posts to score his well deserved and first try of the season. Lee Walker converted to finish the game off.
The final score was 44-30 in favour of the Tigers, who are still unbeaten this season, and with top-spot confirmed await to find out who their semi-final opponents will be with two regular season games remaining.
Next week Bedford travel away to St. Albans who sit in second place, and will look for another win to continue the run.
St. Ives Roosters: Jack Blackley, Tom Evans, Barnie West, Luke Slade, Tom Johnson, Jack Trolove, Paul Ashbridge, Aaron Throne, David Sykes, Rhod Howcroft, Mickey Blackley, Matt Wood, Tommy Newman, Liam Harrison, Ross Thompson, Jim Lewisham, Doug Smith.
Bedford Tigers: Josh Spearing, Charlie Palmer, Ed Strand, Ollie Fountain, Sean Tribbeck, Lee Walker, Colin Liddell, Carl Siudak, Jack Webb, Dan Ridge, Chris Elliott, Lewis McCracken, Rob Ashton, Waide Allen, Chris Powell, Stephen Hill, Trevor Hibbert, Jordan Marshall.