Championship: Bedford get narrow win over Jersey
Bedford emerged as 25-20 winners over Jersey in a topsy-turvy Championship clash at Goldington Road.
Drew Locke's early try put the islanders ahead 8-3 at half-time.
But the lead was to change hands five times in the second period with Nicky Griffiths and Martin Garcia-Veiga grabbing the Jersey scores.
Backs James Pritchard, Pat Tapley and finally Jake Sharp scored the tries for the Blues as they leapfrogged Jersey to sixth in the Championship table.
Returning to the scene of their of their Jersey started superbly with Locke sent clear, after a classy run from full-back Tommy Bell, to score the opener on three minutes.
The advantage should perhaps have been bigger but Bell could not collect the ball cleanly when it looked like he would score in the corner just before the interval.
|Jersey's failure to hang on to leads|
|Jersey have led at half time in all five of their Championship matches this season, but gone on to win just one of those games.|
Bedford burst out of the blocks and full-back Pritchard crossed the whitewash within seconds of the restart, following a charged-down clearance near the try line.
Back came the visitors though through Griffiths who broke from the back of a maul to put his side back in front, but the rollercoaster ride of a second half was far from finished.
Winger Tapley sprinted through for a converted try which saw the hosts lead 18-15, before Jersey's Argentine hooker Garcia-Veiga found himself at the bottom of a pile of bodies from a catch-and-drive move to clinch the visitors' third try.
The winning score came with 71 minutes on the clock as fly-half Sharp spotted a gap in the Jersey defence, with Mark McCrea in the sin-bin, and he darted through to ensure Bedford took the victory.
It would perhaps not have surprised too many had the lead changed again one final time in the closing seconds as the islanders chased a try which could have given them a bonus-point win.
But Bedford more than hung on to clinch their first home victory of the season, ensuring Jersey travel back to the Channel Islands with one point.
Bedford Blues: James Pritchard, Pat Tapley, Michael Le Bourgeois, Ollie Dodge, Jim Wigglesworth, Jake Sharp, Darryl Veenendaal; Billy Moss, Charlie Clare, James Currie, Mike Howard, Eoin Sheriff, Paul Tupai, Justin Blanchet, Nick Fenton-Wells (capt).
Replacements: Jared Saunders, Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, Harry Wells, Joe Vandermolen, Peter White, Steffan Jones, Viliami Hakalo.
Jersey: Tommy Bell, Grant Pointer, Drew Locke, Lewis Robling, Mark McCrea, Jonny Bentley, Nicky Griffiths; Sam Lockwood, Martin Garcia-Veiga, Danny Herriott, Pierce Phillips, Alex Rae (capt), Nick Haining, Ryan Hodson, Michael Noone.
Replacements: Gareth Harris, Ignacio Lancuba, Jon Brennan, Dave Markham, Paula Kaho, Ryan Glynn, Tobias Hoskins.