A stirring second-half comeback by Doncaster Knights came up agonisingly short at Goldington Road.
Still, they would have taken two bonus points for the narrow defeat and the scoring of four tries when they headed into the changing rooms at half-time trailing 17-0.
Lewis robling and Richard Lane crossed for the Blues in a dominant first half.
The greater urgency Doncaster required was discovered at the break and they returned to the fray and immediately set about reducing the arrears.
William Ryan dashed through a gap five metres from the Bedford try line, after the Knights had pinned the home side in their own half. Dougie Flockhart converted.
Despite the best efforts of Mat Clark when tackling Bedford’s Dean Adamson into touch, the home player had been deemed by the referee to have dotted down in time.
A nice break and interchange of passes between Tom James and Stevie McColl resulted in the latter touching down, with Flockhart again accurate on the extras.
Josh Tyrell then ran at the home defence and stretched out an arm to dot the ball down across the tryline, with Flockhart’s third successful kick pulling the Knights to within just three points.
James could have given Doncaster the lead had he passed to either of the two team-mates on his right shoulder moments later but he hung on to the ball and the chance was lost.
Knights were punished in the 79th minute when Bedford crashed over for a fourth try, this one going unconverted but enough to give them a two-score lead at 29-21.
Still, though, Doncaster would not relent and Nick Civita made the most of an ocean of space to cross the line eight minutes into time added on.
Flockhart again duly kicked the extras as Doncaster earned two points.
It is just two wins from seven now for Doncaster who are 10th in the 12-team Championship table.