1st XV Match Preview V Bedford Blues (Away) Fri 13/11/2009 



by Joe Heaton

Bedford v Moseley, at Goldington Road, RFU Championship,
Friday, Nov 13th 2009, k.o. 7.45 pm

Bedford, situated fifty miles north of London, on the Great Ouse and the A6, is a typical English County Town that greatly values its well supported rugby club.

Bedford RFC was founded in 1886 by the amalgamation of Bedford and Bedford Swifts. Both clubs had close connections with Bedford and Bedford Modern Schools that had (and still have) associations with several of the Oxbridge Colleges.

It was not surprising therefore that the new club chose light blue and dark blue for their colours. Bedford has played at its ground in Goldington Road for over one hundred years and, during that time, thirty two Bedford players have been awarded international caps

The modern history of the Bedford club is remarkably similar to that of Moseley. When the leagues were introduced in 1987-88, Bedford was placed in Division Two. and gained promotion to Division One in 1989.

In 1996, to enable the club to go professional, the boxing promoter Frank Warren and a firm called Sports Network made major investments in Bedford and quality players were recruited.

This initially paid off as the club was promoted to Division One in 1998. However, soon afterwards, in 1999 financial problems arose and the then owners sold the club to Jefferson Lloyd International. This was a financial disaster and in October of that year the RFU intervened to allow a consortium of Bedford business men, supported by the Town Council, to take over the club and offer shares to the members and local burghers. Several thousand shares were sold and the club is now viable

Last season Bedford, directed by Mike Rayer, a former player, finished 3rd in National League One, winning 23 and drawing 2 out of 30 matches. At this time the Blues lie 5th in the Championship, compared with Moseley at 6th equal,

                       P W D L F A BP PTS

5 Bedford         10 5 0 5 272 180 6 26
6 London Welsh 10 6 0 4 224 172 5 24
7 Moseley         10 5 0 5 236 286 4 24

Note that Bedford has the strongest defence in the Championship. The results of the Blues last three matches are:

Sun 8th November Cornish Pirates 25 Bedford 24

Sat 31st October Exeter 20 Bedford 11

Sat 25th October Bedford 30 Nottingham 29

The results of the two National League One matches played last season are:

28th November 08 Bedford 17 Moseley 15

11th April 09 Moseley 23 Bedford. 26

The season before ( 2007/08), however, Bedford comprehensively beat Moseley home and away 62-17 and 43-5. Over 100 points against. It does not bear thinking about.

Last Saturday Moseley continued the encouraging development and beat Rotherham in another close match (31-27). Unfortunately the fourth try was not scored and the bonus point obtained which would have been deserved,

The South African, Andy Borgan, playing his first full match at stand off half, brought a more open game to Moseley’s attack, and kicked less than has been the norm so far this season. It certainly made the game more exciting for the spectators.

This Friday’s game will be a tough one against a very good side playing at home.
It is vital that all possible bonus points are earned, for the scramble to ensure a final place in the top eight teams is likely to be intense.


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