Bedford are into the semi-final of the British & Irish Cup after beating Llanelli 32-18 at Goldington Road on Saturday. Llanelli will now have to concentrate on making the end of season play-off’s in the Welsh Premiership.
Outside Half Jake Sharp kicked 22 points while Wasps bound Josh Bassett crossed the line twice to help the Blues to victory, but Llanelli gave a fantastic account of themselves by scoring twice in the first half to put the wind up the Blues before fading in the final quarter.
Heading up the slope in the first 40, Sharp gave the home side the lead with a 13th minute penalty before missing one in the 21st minute. That allowed Llanelli back into it and two tries in four minutes put the visitors in the driving seat. The first came for winger Kristian Phillips in the 23rd minute after Bedford coughed up possession and Llanelli had men out wide. The ball came to flanker Dan Thomas who drew in the defender before releasing Phillips to score under the posts with Dale Ford converting.
On 27 minutes, Llanelli made it 3-12 thanks to another well worked try. Scrum half Gareth Davies cut a superb line before playing a pinpoint pass to centre Nic Reynolds who had enough gas to make it over the line for an unconverted effort.
Bedford heads didn’t drop though and they were back in the game thanks to Bassett. Bedford were piling into the Llanelli 22 and as the ref stuck his arm out for a penalty advantage, Sharp sent a chip over the defence which Bassett took in before planting it down in the left corner. Despite a very tough angle, Sharp converted. Ford and Sharp then exchanged penalties as the half finished 13-15.
Bedford needed to come out the blocks quickly and they did just that. Sharp nosed the hosts in front with a penalty before Bassett got his second of the afternoon. Credit has to go to Mark Atkinson though as the centre made himself plenty of space before charging from the halfway deep into Llanelli’s 22. With the line in sight, Ford made a great cover tackle but the Blues centre popped the ball to Bassett and Sharp converted.
A Ford penalty in the 49th minute kept Llanelli in touching distance but the Blues saw themselves into the final four with three more Sharp penalties.