1st XV Match Preview V Bedford (Away) Sat 25/09/2010
BIG MATCH PREVIEW
by Joe Heaton
Bedford v Moseley, at Goldington Road, RFU Championship,
Saturday, 25th September, 2010, k.o. 3.00 pm
BEWARE THE PINK PERIL
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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