The Bengals were travelling light on numbers due to some last minute drop outs and light on experience with 8 debutants is the side. Coventry lent The Bengals some players to make the game go ahead.
When the game did start it started at a ferocious pace with both sides going full pelt from the kick off. Both sides had chances but could not complete their sets. This changed on 8 minutes when Coventry put together a well worked drive and their prop drove over to score before the extras were added. This spurred Bedford into action and both sides pushed forward in search of tries. Bedford were rewarded on the half hour when Ashley Targett intercepted a Dragons attack and set up an attacking set. The ball was spread wide on the 4th tackle and Bedford veteran Jody Woodfield scored to make it 6-4. The lack of numbers and familiarity with the game started to show just after though. Coventry completed 3 very well worked attacking sets which saw their 2nd row score a hat-trick in the space of ten minutes. This left the score at 22-4 at half-time and The Bengals looked dead and buried after some fine attacking play from The Dragons.
The 2nd half started in much the same way as Coventry scored another converted try to stretch the lead to 24 points. Yet again Bedford rallied and put together a great counter attacking set which saw them score in the corner thanks to one of our loaned players. Captain Dean Ashton stepped up and knocked the touchline conversion with ease despite the windy conditions. Coventry took hold of the game again and put together their sets well. They were rewarded with 3 tries to extend the lead out to 42-10. Tigers then pulled two tries back in quick succession. Paul Wakelin powered over from a scrum to score in the corner despite the attention of several defenders, Ashton again knocking over the touchline kick. Another try was added soon after with another Loaned player scoring in the corner after gleefully bulldozing through his mate. Ashton added his 3rd touchline conversion to bring the score to 42-22. Coventry had the final word with another try in the last minute.
Captain Ashton said “Coventry were worthy winners today, playing some really impressive rugby. Thanks must go to them for being great hosts and lending players throughout to make sure the game went ahead. It was a dogged performance from a scratch side that hasn’t played together before and included several players making their League debuts. Tom Chalk, Leigh Pickard, Eamon Murphy and The Targett Brothers impressed and Mark Tindall was outstanding bar one mistake at the scrum!”