Published: 20/04/2013 20:34 - Updated: 20/04/2013 20:38

Rugby Union: Moseley 29 Bedford Blues 41 - Blues seal third place and Nottingham play-off showdown

Written byBRIAN DICK

MOSELEY 29 BEDFORD BLUES 41

Five-star Bedford took care of business in a breathless encounter at Billesley Common - and it’s just as well they did.

With pursuers Bristol and Leeds both winning their final regular season match, Blues had no option but to complete the double over spirited Moseley.

While the hosts took this match as an opportunity to enjoy a hard track and dry ball, Bedford had to stay focused and make sure they held on to third place.

Anything other than a victory would have seen them slip into fourth position and face a daunting semi-final with Newcastle.

Instead they can concentrate on renewing hostilities with Nottingham who were defeated at Leeds.

Mike Rayer’s men chanced their arm in Birmingham.

Moseley took the lead after just two minutes, through dual registered Northampton Saint Tom Stephenson after good work by Simon Hunt.

Jake Sharp landed a penalty for Blues and then converted James Short’s well-worked long-range strike on the quarter hour.

James Stephenson made it 17-7 to Bedford at the midway point after good work from Myles Dorrian and Ollie Dodge. And Sharp’s second penalty stretched the lead to 13.

But Mose hit back through Sam Wilkes who bashed through Nick Fenton-Wells after Tom Stephenson’s quick feet had sprung the defence.

However, six minutes before the break Mark Atkinson did something similar when he left Olly Robinson clutching at thin air and wriggled his way under the sticks.

And on the final play of the period James Stephenson was released by a tap penalty in the Bedford half and weaved his way to create a 40m romp for Luke Baldwin. Sharp’s conversions made it 34-14 at the interval.

Moseley started the second period well and good work from Robinson gave Addison Lockley room to barrel over from close range for his first Moseley try in his last appearance before leaving for Biarritz.

Then in the 50th minute Robinson bagged one himself as he spotted an unguarded ruck and arced his way over from 20m.

Ollie Thomas’s penalty with nine minutes to go cut the Blues’ lead to five-points and set up what might have been an upset.

But on the final play Scott Spurling snatched a loose lineout and capped a breathless 80 minutes.

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