With the bonus point secured by half time the side scored five tries in each half for what was eventually a comprehensive victory.
The early initiative all came from the home side and through Charlie Darlow they had two early tries on the board in the 2nd and 11th minutes both of which were converted by James Mortimer for a 14-0 lead. Their approach then became sloppy and a lapse in concentration combined with a propensity to give away penalties allowed Newark back into the game. Newark’s first try came when they found space down the left wing and Josh Hubbard crossed to score on 19 minutes. Then Dave Fotheringham capitalised on a loose ball after Bedford Athletic had stolen an attacking lineout to cross for his side’s second try on 27 minutes. With Alex Scott kicking the conversion Newark were right back in the game at 14-12. Realising that the wind in their faces was deceptively strong Athletic reverted to a running game for the rest of the half and this paid dividends as they broke the line in the middle of the field on the half hour mark for Tommy Mills to burst through from 40 metres out for the third try. Good interplay between backs and forwards down the right wing then saw Andy Ince hauled down just short of the line but Sven Meiland was on hand to pick up and dive over for the bonus point try. Athletics’ third try in this ten minute burst before the half time whistle came from another break through midfield this time Ince himself had the legs to resist his pursuers and make it to the line on the half time whistle. Two further conversions from Mortimer saw the score at 33-12 at the break.
Once again Bedford Athletic applied themselves really well from the restart. Early pressure on the visiting defence saw Ben Middleton making hard yards through the centre of the defence before Nick Thomas touched down beside the posts, Mortimer converting. From the kick off Bedford Athletic ran the ball back at their opponents with Rob Watkins making big yards down the centre of the park before Stephen Woodhead continued the move on for David Simpson to score in the corner. The Bedford Athletic pack were now rampant with Nick Thomas, Rob Watkins, Andy Ince and man of the match Sven Meiland all dominating both with ball in hand and through the contact area. A steady stream of possession from the lineout also advanced their cause both in attack and defence. The try of the match came on the hour mark. The home scrum shunted their opponents out of the way, Stephen Woodhead burst through the visiting line and then the ball was moved at pace through the hands of Darlow and Simpson for Josh Cassell to scorch down the left wing for a try in the corner. There were further tries to come when Rob Watkins broke off the back of another advancing scrum and fed Tom Orton to score on 66 minutes and in the final ten minutes when penetrative running down the left wing was finished off by Watkins running the necessary support line to take the ball under the posts for the tenth and final try. Mortimer added a further three second half conversions for seven in total. Newark did have the final try of the day through Max Spurr but although they pushed for a bonus point try in the final moments their handing let them down and 64-19 was the final score.
The win keeps Bedford Athletic firmly at the top of the table but they will face a test of their title credentials this Saturday as they travel to third place Newbold who themselves are pushing for promotion.