13 wins out of 13 but still work in progress
By LI Bohemian
January 6 2017
After two years of busing it to Oxford on match days, the refurbished train line to Oxford was finally reopened and will make it much easier to get to home games, well, for the next two seasons anyhow.
I nearly missed kick off because I had misjudged the amount of supporters that would attend a new years eve game in the Championship, the queue for tickets was as long as the one for the toilets at Richmond.
The game as such was a bit of a strange one, in that although Irish at times seemed to concede points very passively, through some poor defensive displays, they never looked like they were going to lose the match, unlike at Richmond the previous week, some of this was down to Mr. Bell’s boot, which was again (bar the odd kick) sending the forwards to the corner for a line out or keeping the scoreboard going for Irish, and some down to a good workaholic back row and a tight front five.
At the start of the match, Bedford swept up the field to score first, a move that went far too easily (although they did have a pretty good back three on the day) the tackling and all round standing off players by Irish was annoying. Irish settled into moving the ball laterally with no actual line breaks, most of the time just running out of room on the flanks, Bedford’s rush defense was quick and accurate, when Irish coughed the ball up, Bedford kicked it long back into the other half, this worked for a spell but Irish could always step up, with Bell and the Forward’s when required to pin Bedford back, getting rewarded with two well taken try’s, scored by Big Trev from a scrum pick up and charge for the line and David Porecki from a driving maul, making the score 14 – 7 at half time.
At the start of second half, Irish were awarded a penalty try after creating some good pressure again from the forward pack, via line out mauls on the Bedford try-line. Bedford lost their composure and gave away numerous penalties at the start of the half, luckily for Bedford that Irish again went off the boil, firstly Tiks in all sorts of trouble defending (he did get better in the last quarter of the match) and secondly an out of sorts, dis-interested Marshall getting yellow carded for something no one seemed to know? Bedford scored another easy try making the scores 21 – 14. The turning point came, when Bell kicked an exquisite long-range penalty, Bedford were not going to win, and to prove it, Big Trev got his second try and the TBP. Bedford got another try and Irish replied in kind through Jerry Sexton, making the final score 36-21.
The encounter was not as tough as last week, but Bedford were always struggling up front so would never get the upper hand, The Irish defense notably the back line has looked shaky and lacking (for long periods) in any line breaks or penetration, this could be down to rotation of personnel, I think it is still better to keep the rotation of squad players, as it improves the squad as a whole, lessens the chance of injuries and makes players game ready if an injury does occur, we have yet to lose a game this season, so the benefits out way the risk.
I dedicate this match report to my good friend and
fellow LI supporter, who sadly passed away a year ago to the day of this match, miss ya Woody.
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Caimh announced it on the day as something like 3,950 and the offy report says 4k. For me, it felt closer to 6k. There were very few spare seats in the lower west and upper was pretty full too.
Could the LI management be under-reporting to make the proposed move look more desirable?
That really sums it up.
although Irish at times seemed to concede points very passively, through some poor defensive displays, they never looked like they were going to lose the match, unlike at Richmond the previous week
The Bedford game was he first game where there was a proper old fashioned queue for the bar. It was almost nostalgic.