RFU Championship: Bedford beat relegation-threatened Jersey

Bedford Blues 38 (14)

  • Try: Cochrane 2, Sharp, Atkinson, Gulliver
  • Con: Pritchard 2
  • Pens: Pritchard 3

Jersey 21 (9)

  • Try: Griffiths, Thompson
  • Con: Broadfoot
  • Pens: Broadfoot 3

Bedford Blues ran in five tries on their way to a 38-21 bonus-point win over Jersey.

The sides exchanged early penalties before Neil Cochrane crashed over, helping Blues to a 14-9 half-time lead.

Jake Sharp touched down and Cochrane grabbed his second to extend the advantage but Jersey threatened a comeback when Nicky Griffiths scored.

But tries from Mark Atkinson and Ben Gulliver dashed the islanders' hopes, before Guy Thompson replied late on.

The result means Jersey remain second-from-bottom and still without an away Championship win this season, while Bedford continue their push for a play-off spot and climb above Nottingham into second place.

The Islanders had been narrowly in front for just a few seconds in the first-half when Ross Broadfoot's third successful penalty, against his old club, put his team 9-6 ahead.

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But hooker Cochrane's first try moments later after a maul near the line was a sign of things to come.

His second was almost a carbon-copy, and with Sharp's touchdown sandwiched in between, the home side found themselves 17 points ahead.

The Islanders hit back when skipper Griffiths showed good handling to grab an awkward pass to score his team's opening try, and some of the 2,242 crowd might have thought a fight-back in the last 10 minutes was on the cards.

Instead, it seemed to spark Blues back into life and Atkinson grabbed the bonus-point try before second-row Gulliver scored to seal the win.

There was still time for a final Jersey try when they spread the ball well to the wing in stoppage-time, and Thompson was on hand to score in the corner.

The defeat leaves Jersey five points above bottom-club Doncaster Knights, who play their game in hand on Sunday.

LINE-UPS

Bedford: James Pritchard (capt), James Stephenson, Ollie Dodge, Mark Atkinson, Josh Bassett, Jake Sharp, Darryl Veenendaal, Darren Fearn, Neil Cochrane, Ben Cooper, Mike Howard, Ben Gulliver, Gregor Gillanders, Tom Armes and Don Barrell.

Replacements: Chris Locke, Ricky Reeves, Phil Boulton, Joe Vandermolen, Darren Fox, Luke Baldwin and Brendan Burke.

Jersey: Michael Le Bourgeois, Ed Dawson, Max Stelling, Tom Cooper, Chris Levesley, Ross Broadfoot, Nicky Griffiths (capt), Richard Barrington, Dave Felton, Jon Brennan, Nathan Hannay, Dave Markham, Kingsley Lang, Joe Buckle and Guy Thompson.

Replacements: Sean McCarthy, Charlie Clare, James Gethings, Talite Vaioleti, Dave McCormack, Ashley Maggs and Frederick Silcock.