Championship: Jersey Reds 14-9 Bedford Blues

Jersey v Bedford line-out
Jersey Reds have taken nine points from their opening two Championship matches

Jersey Reds continued their impressive start to the Championship season with a hard-fought win over Bedford Blues at St Peter.

Hooker Joe Buckle crashed over from a maul to help the hosts to an 11-6 half-time lead.

Brendan Cope's penalty looked to have sealed the win, but late Bedford pressure set up a nervy ending.

The Reds held on though and have won both their fixtures so far, while Bedford have lost their two.

Reds giving Bedford the blues
Jersey beat Bedford in all three meetings last season, and have now won seven of the last ten matches between the sides.

The visitors, skippered by Jersey-born Michael Le Bourgeois against his old club, were ahead early on through Elliot Clement-Hill's penalty, but the home side hit back straight away when Buckle was driven over from a line-out move.

Both sides traded kicks in a competitive first-half, with Bedford desperate to end their poor run against the islanders and bounce back from the loss to Cornish Pirates a week earlier.

It took 35 minutes of the second half for the first score of the period, with Cope's penalty stretching the Jersey lead to 14-6 and putting his side more than a converted try in front.

With time starting to run out, Jake Sharp's penalty reduced the arrears to five points and Bedford sensed a last-gasp win might be on.

But a series of late penalties and scrums on the five metre line eventually came to nothing, despite appeals for a try, as Jersey's defence stood strong to see out the game and restrict their opponents to a losing bonus-point.

Jersey: Cuthbert; Watkins, King, Robling, Adair; Cope, Hardy; Thomas, Buckle, Kerrod, Phillips, McKern, Argyle, Freeman (capt), Haining.

Replacements: Selway, McCarthy, Tampin, Kolo'ofa'i, Doyle, Fisilau, Davies.

Bedford: Gallagher; Clement-Hill, Farrell, Le Bourgeois (capt), Adamson; Dorrian, Burns; Thompson-Stringer, Fields, Spelman, Carrick-Smith, Taylor, Hill, Buggea, Adams

Replacements: Edgson, Culverhouse, Judge, Howard, James, Sharp, Perkins

Attendance: 1,630

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