1st XV Match Preview V Bedford (Away) Sat 25/09/2010 



by Joe Heaton

Bedford v Moseley, at Goldington Road, RFU Championship,
Saturday, 25th September, 2010, k.o. 3.00 pm


Moseley’s early tough fixtures in this season’s highly competitive Championship continue on Saturday with an away match against a Bedford side which currently lies third in the League, having won three of the first four matches played. What makes the challenge look formidable is Bedford’s form at home where no try has yet been conceded by the hosts in the current campaign.

In the first Championship season Bedford, directed by Mike Rayer, a former Blues player, finished in 4th place, winning 12 and drawing 1 out of 22 matches.

Last season Bedford and Moseley played three matches:

13th Nov 09 Bedford 23 v Moseley 7 L
6th Feb 10 Moseley 19 v Bedford 26 L
5th March 10 Bedford 23 v Moseley 0 L ( B&I)

The results of Bedford’s first four matches this season are:

28th August Bedford 57 - Plymouth 3
4th September Rotherham 19 - Bedford 16
11th Sepember Bedford 31 - Esher 9
18th September Doncaster 24 - Bedford 29

At present, the relative positions of the two clubs in the League are:

            P W D L  F   A  BP Pts Pos

Bedford 4 3 0 1 127 55 3 15 3rd

Moseley 4 1 2 1  79  84 1  9 7th

Last Saturday’s home match against Bristol resulted in a second consecutive draw (13-13). While the feeling after the Pirates match the previous week was one of elation after drawing level with a touchline conversion in the dying seconds of the game, the club’s management, members and supporters were somewhat disappointed with the shared honours last Saturday albeit as it was against a resurgent Bristol side.

Bedford’s Goldington Road ground is a very tough place to come away from with any points and the Moseley players will have to up their game even more this Saturday to cement our club’s hard earned place in mid-table.

The structure of the Moseley side is settling down but the team is not yet at full strength with Michael Ellery and George Warner still to recover from pre season injuries and make their debuts.

On the plus side, Ollie Thomas’s registration difficulties, caused by a strike at the French Rugby Federation which also affected a number of other English clubs, have now been resolved and he will be available for selection. Inspirational flanker, Neil Mason could return if he passes a fitness test on his hamstring.

The pack’s continuing supply of good ball provides many opportunities to a young back division whose potential should hopefully result in improving returns as the season progresses.

Bedford, situated fifty miles north of London, on the Great Ouse and the A6, is a typical English county town which 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 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 its colours.

Bedford has owned its unique sloping 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 and this fixture has very long traditional history attached to it. When the leagues were introduced in 1987-88, Bedford was placed in Division 2 but achieved promotion to Division 1 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 and quality players were recruited. Soon after in 1999, however, 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 under the able Chairmanship of Geoff Irvine is now a major force in the second tier of English rugby.

The occasion on Saturday has been decreed as Ladies Day to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. It is reported that the Blues players will be wearing a rather fetching shade of pink to mark the occasion.

Whatever the sartorial elegance (or otherwise), we are sure that the welcome on the pitch will be as fierce as the Bedford members’ traditional hospitality is excellent off it and that this long standing fixture will continue its colourful history of entertainment whatever the result.



Click Here





To receive regular  updates in your e-mail every week, sign up for Moseley Matters (Click Here)

Discuss it on the Message Board (Click Here)


Hit Counter