Doncaster denied by late Bedford winner

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DONCASTER, bottom of the league with seven defeats in nine games, came seriously close to causing one of the upsets of the Championship season at Castle Park.

However in a tense climax and in the 10th minute of injury time, Bedford scored a match-winning converted try which resulted in a sickening blow to Doncaster and their supporters as the Knights lost agonisingly by just one point.

Doncaster didn’t deserve to lose because in a much-improved performance they scored three tries by forwards Dominic Parsons and Brian McGovern and by centre Dante Mama, who ran more than 50 metres to score a thrilling try which was then converted by Jamie Lennard that put Doncaster in front by 21-10.

Bedford, third in the Championship, and one of the most dangerous sides in the league, fought back strongly late in the second half.

Prop Ricky Reeves was driven over for their second try on 77 minutes and then Doncaster put themselves under pressure as Bedford forwards gained several promising positions.

In a dramatic finish, Bedford’s pack gained possession once again close to Doncaster’s line and on 90 minutes winger Josh Bassett, who joined the pack, grounded the ball for a try that broke Doncaster’s resolve and hopes of winning their second league match.

Centre Brendan Burke added the simple conversion that meant that Doncaster had to be content with only a losing bonus point.

Doncaster Knights: Lennard, Flockhart, Mama, Simpson (Tincknell, 40), Lewis, Luke (Pailor, 83), Hallam (Munro, 75), Davies, Buckley (Sowery, 70), Francis (McGovern, 60), Challinor, Parsons, Kettle (Boyde, 54), Bradford, Planchant.

Bedford Blues: Atkinson, Kohler, Burke, Staff (Cass, 30), Bassett, Sharp; Veenendaal (Price, 75), Reeves (Fearn, 81), Spurling (Cochrane, 54), Seal (Cooper, 57), Howard, Rae, Gillanders (Gulliver, 70), Fox, Tupai. (Burrell, 70).

Referee: G MacDonald (RFU).

Saracens opened their LV= Cup campaign with a 38-21 win against Leicester.