Young guns dig deep to sting the Wasps late on

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Bedford Academy won 27-22 in their second fixture of the season against RFU-funded Premiership Academy side Wasps on a synthetic pitch at Maidenhead Rugby Club.

With Bedford having won the first game 13-12 at Goldington Road in October, Wasps were out to avenge their eprevious defeat.

Bedford took a 15-7 lead in at half-time, before Wasps came back into the game and went 22-15 ahead with five minutes to go.

But the Blues played right to the end and scored two tries in the last five minutes to eventually emerge victorious from an excellent game of rugby.

Bedford took the lead after five minutes when they forced a lineout 10m from the Wasps line, and drove the ball for flanker Oli Robinson to score.

Centre Cameron Gregory-Ring converted, but Wasps hit back five minutes later when their ever dangerous back line created space for centre Owain James to score on the right hand side. Ex-England U18 fly-half Harry Sheppard converted to level the scores.

Gregory-Ring regained the lead for the Blues on 20 minutes with a well taken penalty, and Bedford went further ahead when they created momentum for hooker Ben Wilkinson to go over from close range.

Wasps scored quickly after half-time when a Bedford kick went straight to ex-Bedford School captain Ollie Lyons, who made good ground to create space for a try on the right from winger Callum Striker.

The hosts took the lead for the first time 10 minutes after the interval when captain Jack Willis scored from close range; Sheppard converted and Wasps were 19-15 ahead.

The hosts stretched their lead to 22-15 with a Sheppard penalty with five minutes to go, but Blues continued to compete and forced a lineout in the Wasps 22.

They spoilt the Wasps ball and scrum-half Dylan Leney broke blind to feed hooker Owen Griffiths who made it to the corner for the try.

The conversion was missed, but soon afterwards winger Ryan Hutler cut loose up the left and showed good footwork to get the winning score on the stroke of time. Gregory-Ring converted to give the Blues a five-point win.

Bedford Academy director Denis Ormesher said: “This was a cracking game of rugby with two good sides going flat out at each other. The result could have gone either way.

“On the down side we made too many unforced errors in our kicking game and, at times, our defence let us down.

“Too often we kicked straight to Wasps to allow them to counter-attack. With Ollie Lyons running hard, and the Wasps back line possessing real pace, this cost us.

“On the up side we were pleased with the way we competed throughout the game. At 22-15 down with five minutes to go, we showed real maturity and patience to construct the chances we did.

“The winning try was the result of 11 phases of play, and our fitness allowed us to compete right to the end.

“We were delighted that our youngest player Ryan Hutler, who was only 17 in December, should get the winning try, but this was a real team win, with everyone playing their part.”