Rugby Union: Hard times roll for Bedford

Bedford 21 London Irish 36

FOR 55 MINUTES of this match the Bedford players looked beaten. They looked like a club that had been consigned to the play-offs before it had become a reality. It has to be said they have put up with a lot this season and even now apparently the worries are not over.

No one is yet convinced about the intentions of the new consortium.

According to reports, having spent the last months of Frank Warren's ownership wondering if they were going to get paid, they are no better off under the new regime. Their latest pay cheques were a week late, apparently being handed out on the eve of this match.

Everything is in flux and will remain so until they have safely negotiated the play-offs against Rotherham or whoever. The immediate futures of the likes of Scotland international lock Scott Murray and coach Rudi Straeuli remain in doubt, more so since Doug Braddock, the front man for the new consortium, hinted that if Bedford dropped down a division then he, for one, would not blame ambitious players for leaving.

The play-offs promise to be tough, whoever it is. Dick Best, the London Irish director of rugby said: "I know what it means, having been in that position last year, and I can say it is a most unpleasant environment." Rotherham were Irish's opponents in 1998 and Best added: "I would not like to say whether Bedford would survive."

They will survive against whoever if they show the same fire, the same spirit, that brought them 21 second half points through three converted tries. It matters not that two of those tries were real softies, the important thing was that Bedford were looking for and creating those opportunities.

In the first half it was Irish who were the creative party and with New Zealander Jarrod Cunningham not only scoring their opening try but also kicking 14 points before Bedford had replied it was looking like one way traffic. Bedford's opening try by Rory Underwood woke the Irish up long enough for the captain, Conor O'Shea, and Steve Bachop to re-establish their commanding lead with a couple of opportunistic tries, before they slackened off again.

Afterwards O'Shea said: "It was great to be coming here with the possibility of qualifying for Europe instead of being the side worrying about the play-offs." And, although Europe remains an outside chance for a little while longer, Irish have achieved much this season thanks to O'Shea, who is to be offered the same job next season, and imports such as Cunningham, Bachop and especially Brendan Venter.

"Irish have come a long way this year," said Venter, who has a medical practice at home in South Africa. "We have trained really hard and I have never been involved in a set-up where people are as committed and as professional as these guys. It is far more intense and professional than in Free State."

Bedford: Tries Underwood, Harrison, Yapp; Conversions Yapp 3. London Irish: Tries Cunningham, Woods, O'Shea, Bachop; Conversions Cunningham 2; Penalties Cunningham 4 .

Bedford: S Stewart; B Whetstone, A Murdoch (capt), J Ewens (S Howard, h-t), D O'Mahony (R Underwood, 14); A Yapp, R Elliott (C Harrison, 50); C Boyd (A Ozdemir 6-12 & 64), J Richards (A Davis, 67), V Hartland, D Zaltzman, S Murray (A Duke, 60), J Cockle, R Winters, J Forster (P Elphick, 72).

London Irish: C O'Shea (capt); J Cunningham, N Burrows, B Venter (J Bishop, 59), N Woods; S Bachop, P Richards; N Hatley, R Kirke, R Hardwick (K Fullman, 62), R Strudwick, N Harvey, J Boer (M Bird, 36-38), I Feaunati, K Dawson.

Referee: B Campsall (Halifax).

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?