Market Rasen & Louth show promise – but Bedford blitz seals clash
MARKET Rasen & Louth conceded an early try – and went on to lose a high-scoring match away against Bedford Athletic.
The Red & Greens went down 57-29 in the Midlands 1 East Division.
Bedford crossed the line in the sixth minute. A quick tap by scrum-half Mike Starling from the wrong spot cost Rasen possession.
Bedford were awarded a scrum and quickly moved the ball to their dangerous back-line.
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Full-back Ben Johnson burst through the defence and, despite a brave attempt from his opposite number Karl Ward, momentum carried him over the line to leave fly-half James Mortimer with a simple conversion.
Rasen responded positively and were soon back in Bedford territory with a penalty kick to touch.
The catch and drive moved closer to the line before the backs were brought into play with winger Nick Harvey cutting an inside line and off-loading for centre Matt Sutton to crash over. Meehal Grint slotted the conversion to bring the Red and Greens back on terms.
The pendulum swung back to Bedford as they took control to score five converted tries as their astute use of the ball mesmerised the visiting defence.
After facing such a whirlwind of attacks, Rasen took heart as Bedford conceded a series of penalties in their own twenty-two allowing the Red and Greens to finish the half strongly.
A quick tap from Grint resulted in a score for the vociferous fly-half and put some much-needed belief back into the visitors as the half closed.
The effect of the late score in the first half was remarkable as Rasen turned the game on its head and became the dominant force throughout the third quarter.
In the opening stages, the Red and Greens became encamped close to the Bedford line as the referee repeatedly penalised the home front row and Rasen continued to opt for the scrummage.
Surprisingly, it wasn't this string of similar offences that elicited a penalty try, but a further infringement at a driving maul compelled the official to signal the score from under the posts.
Sutton added the conversion and moments later his accurate pass brought Ward into the line.
The diminutive full-back made good ground before the ball was reworked for Grint to steal in at the corner to secure a try bonus point.
Another penalty prompted the obligatory catch and drive for Dearden, who put Rasen within two scores of victory.
Having weathered the Rasen onslaught, Bedford eventually worked their way up field and settled their nerves with a Mortimer penalty.
Spurred on by their earlier exploits, Rasen desperately tried to break Bedford's new-found vigour that was now keeping them pinned deep in their own territory.
However, throwing caution to the wind, a kick was easily gathered by Johnson who scorched down the left wing to complete his hat-trick.
Bedford rounded off the game as Mortimer's perfectly placed cross kick found substitute Charlie Darlow for a final try, with Mortimer's successful conversion bringing the match to a close.