Championship: Bedford Blues 39-37 Jersey Reds

Harvey Biljon
Harvey Biljon marks three years in charge of Jersey next week

Bedford came from 10 points behind to snatch a thrilling victory over Jersey Reds with the last kick of the match.

George Perkins' score with the final play gave Jake Sharp a simple conversion for the narrow win.

Earlier, tries from George Watkins, Sami Fisilau, Kuki Ma'afu and Jack MacFarlane had put Jersey in a good position.

But Dean Adamson, Tom Farrell, Mike Le Bourgeois and Matt Gallagher all scored for the hosts to set up the late drama.

The Blues climb to ninth spot in the Championship table, now just one point behind Jersey in seventh as the islanders took two bonus points from the game.

Jersey suffer first loss to Bedford since October 2014
December 2016: Bedford 39-37 JerseySeptember 2016: Jersey 14-9 Bedford
March 2016: Bedford 15-19 JerseyFebruary 2016: Bedford 18-25 Jersey
October 2015: Jersey 34-27 BedfordFebruary 2015: Jersey 17-3 Bedford

The Reds had gone into the Boxing Day fixture hoping to continue their recent dominance over Bedford, having won the previous five meetings between the sides.

Winger Adamson put Bedford in front early on with the first of his two tries, but the visitors soon hit back when Watkins was found out wide and forced his way over.

Adamson sprinted through onto Gallagher's kick for his second, but again the home side were pegged back when Jersey scrum-half Fisilau spotted space off the back of a maul to score.

The Reds were 21-17 in front by half-time after fly-half Sam Katz's clever run saw Tongan centre Ma'afu to go over.

Farrell darted through for Bedford's third try to edge his side back ahead before captain Le Bourgeois touched down in the corner against his former club and home island to give Bedford a 27-24 advantage.

Katz's penalty levelled the scores and then front-rower MacFarlane crashed over from a maul to secure at least a bonus point for the visitors.

But then, with a 10-point Jersey lead, came another turn in momentum as Ma'afu was sent to the sin-bin for an infringement in the build up to Gallagher's try.

A Katz penalty from the right-hand side drifted wide at the other end and that paved the way for Perkins to sprint in and score, from a quickly-taken penalty won at a scrum, before Sharp's winning conversion from in front of the posts.

Jersey face Ealing next on New Year's Day, while Bedford are back in action on Saturday at leaders London Irish.

Bedford: Gallagher; Perkins, Farrell, Le Bourgeois (capt), Adamson; Dorrian, Burns; Thompson-Stringer, Fields, Cooper, Howard, Carrick-Smith, Blanchet, Buggea, Tupai

Replacements: George, Walker, Culverhouse, Taylor, Adams, James, Sharp

Jersey: Adair; Watkins, Ma'afu, Stevens, Davies; Katz, Fisilau; Thomas, Buckle, Tampin, Campbell, McKern, Graham, Freeman (capt), Haining.

Replacements: Macfarlane, McCarthy, Kerrod, Kolo'ofa'i, Argyle, Hardy, Dudley.

Attendance: 4,621

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