Yapp's last word

Bedford 24 London Scottish 16

AFTER FINALLY coming up with Bedford's wages last week, Frank Warren had to put his hand in his pocket again as his players secured their first win bonus of the season.

A week earlier at Leicester, London Scottish felt that a fear of the unknown had cost them victory. Yesterday, they faced more familiar opposition in their foes from Premiership Two last season, but still found the result no more to their liking.

A minute before half-time, the Exiles had been in a winning position, 13-3 up and with Bedford's Darragh O'Mahony heading for the sin-bin to join team-mate Joe Ewens. But such was the strength of Bedford's revival after the break that the tables were turned.

Scottish had taken the lead after 12 minutes when Conan Sharman sprinted 60 yards down the left touchline after the hooker, Peter Robertson, had smuggled the ball out of a maul on his own line. Iain McAusland converted and two further penalties from the Australian, sandwiching one by Sam Howard, gave the visitors a 10-point cushion.

By then, Bedford had lost Ewens for 10 minutes after his wincingly late tackle on Derrick Lee and O'Mahony then followed him to the sidelines for a raised arm. Howard responded by reducing the deficit to 13-6 at the interval, and Bedford wasted little time in levelling matters after the restart, Jason Forster and Rudi Straeuli combining to send Rory Underwood in for a try on the right, converted by Howard.

A spell of Bedford pressure climaxed with Tony Yapp darting over at a scrum 11 minutes from time. McAusland replied with a penalty, but Yapp ensured a happily expensive afternoon for Warren with an injury-time dropped goal.

Bedford, though looking perhaps the more lightweight of the teams, were more willing to move the ball, with Alistair Murdoch and O'Mahony posing a threat throughout.

Bedford: S Howard; R Underwood, J Ewens, A Murdoch, D O'Mahony; T Yapp, C Harrison; N Hatley, J Richards, C Boyd, A Duke (A Zaltzman, 49), S Murray, R Winters (J Cockle, 70), R Straeuli (capt), J Forster.

London Scottish: D Lee (S Binns, 75); K Milligan, R Davies (J Bonney, 57), R Eriksson, C Sharman; I McAusland, G Easterby; P Johnstone, P Robertson (J McLellan, 51), P Burnell, G Manson-Bishop, M Watson (M McAtamney, 51), S Fenn, R Hunter (C Tarbuck, 51), S Holmes (capt).

Referee: J Warren (Bristol).

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