Bedford Blues 41 Doncaster Knights 32: Attacking Knights are edged out by Bedford
The visitors actually started the stronger, taking a seventh-minute lead through front rower David Nelson, with Dougie Flockhart just wide with the conversion.
The hosts replied through Rich Lane three minutes later, but the Knights were quick to respond to restore their advantage through Lesley Klim in the 13th minute, this time Flockhart finding his mark before adding an 18th-minute penalty.
Again the hosts stormed back in a frantic opening spell, cutting the deficit on the 20-minute mark through Lane’s second try of the game, Will Hooley adding the extras before levelling matters with a 24th-minute penalty.
Bedford then got themselves ahead for the first time in the match in the 35th minute, when Tom Lindsay went over, Hooley again converting before adding a penalty to give the Blues a 25-15 lead at the break.
The Knights gave themselves hope early in the second half when Will Owen#s try was converted by Flockart to cut the deficit to three points.
But Hooley followed up a 56th-minute penalty by converting scrum-half Lee Dickon’s try two minutes later to leave Clive Griffiths’s side with a mountain to climb.
Another Hooley kick made it 38-25 and although the Knights cut the deficit to six points after Flockhart converted replacement No 8 Alex-Shaw’s 75th-minute score, that was as close as they got, Hooley adding a last-minute penalty for the hosts.