A ROLLER-COASTER affair at Goldington Road went the way of Bedford Blues in an agonising 19-15 defeat for Coventry.
Tries from Ben Nutley and Will Owen, one of which was converted by Rory Jennings – who also added a penalty – proved futile for Rowland Winter’s side, who remain fourth in the RFU Championship despite their fifth defeat.
The visitors were the first to draw first blood when going in front on 17 minutes through Jennings’ straightforward penalty.
Blues hit back in style, scoring a try through Ryan Hutler that was later converted by Will Hooley to overturn the scoreline two minutes later.
In another twist of fate, Coventry responded with a converted score of their own when Nutley picked up the pieces from James Martin’s halted run to score in the corner. Jennings again made no mistake in kicking between the posts.
The final, and perhaps most decisive, turning point of the opening period arrived six minutes before half-time when Bedford’s Matt Worley carried the ball forward and managed to find Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas with a sensational offload to set-up a try.
While Hooley missed the subsequent penalty, the hosts had the lead going into the break, one which they would not relinquish.
Try scorer Hirskyj-Douglas turned provider six minutes after the break, ending his direct run to the try line with a pass to Alafoti Fa’osiliva to score the Blues’ third try.
To make matters worse, Hooley atoned for his previous miss by lofting the ball over the crossbar.
Owen reduced the deficit almost immediately, completing a 40-yard run to the whitewash, followed by Jennings’ difficult conversion, to bring the scoreline to 19-15.
With Bedford putting their bodies on the line during intervals, Coventry were unable to find a way back into the game despite having momentum on their side.
Next up is a home encounter with Yorkshire Carnegie, currently placed bottom of the division, at Butts Park Arena on Saturday (3pm).