Bristol beat Bedford to win British and Irish Cup

Bristol beat Bedford Blues 17-14 in the final of the British and Irish cup to win the tournament.

Anthony Elliot was walking on air tonight as he lifted the British and Irish
Cup less than 24 hours after the birth of his son.

The former England Sevens winger had dropped his partner Abigail and the yet
unnamed Elliott Jnr off at home before hot-footing it to the Memorial Stadium
and scoring the try that gave Bristol their first silverware since 2004.

“Our little boy was born less than 24 hours ago so it’s brilliant
– there’s just so much emotion at the moment,” said Ellilott.
“Unfortunately he’s 12 hours old so he couldn’t join us today!
But it gave me a massive edge to get a great result.”

After a lacklustre Championship season, the result was the boost Bristol needed
and Elliott added: “The lads dug in massively…we have played a lot
of rugby this year and to get that result is brilliant.”

Bristol boss Paul Hull, departing after a 22-year association with the club,
said: “The overwhelming feeling is I’m so happy that we won. It’s
been a difficult year but to turn it around in the last few weeks of the season
and get some silverware for the players, the board and most importantly the
supporters.”

For Bedford it was more heartache after their RFU Championship semi final defeat
to Worcester Warriors six days previously and forwards coach Martin Haynes added:
“I can’t fault the effort of the players all season. But we didn’t
perform today and if you don’t come first you come last.”

The first 20 minutes was a litany of errors as the drizzle fell, from spilled
balls to failing to bind properly at the scrum.

James Pritchard kicked the Blues into a 3-0 lead after eight minutes with Ed
Barnes failing to draw the scores level five minutes later.

But Barnes made amends with two penalties in two minutes to put Bristol 6-3
up and then landed a third when Alex Rae was sin-binned for lying on the wrong
side of the ball just before halftime.

Elliott showed his pace early in the second half when he hacked on a loose
ball and then with Jack Adams up in support he collected and won the race to
the line.

Barnes missed the conversion and Pritchard pulled back three points but then
missed a long range one when Bristol were penalised for crossing

Bedford had all the pressure, pounding the line with Paul Tupai leading the
charge but they had to settle for a penalty from Pritchard.

Barnes extended the lead to 17-9 with 10 minutes remaining but there was drama
as Handre Scmidt went over from Veennendaal’s flat pass off the back of
the scrum.

Pritchard missed the conversion and Bristol defended to the death to give the
Memorial Stadium something to cheer about.

Final Score Bristol 17 Bedford Blues 14

Scorers

Bristol Rugby
Try Elliott;
Pens – Barnes (4)

Bedford Blues
Try – Schmidt
Pens – Pritchard (3).
Yellow card: Rae 40

Referee: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)

Att: 4375

Teams


Bristol Rugby
Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Jack Adams, Junior Fatialofa, Dan Norton; Ed Barnes, Robbie Shaw; Mark Irish, David Blaney, Darren Crompton, Mariano Sambucetti, Roy Winters, Iain Grieve (C), James Merriman, Dan Montagu.


Replacements: Ollie Hayes, Wayne Thompson, Mako Vunipola, Darren Barry, Richard Bolt, Mark Davies, Anthony Elliott.


Bedford Blues
Edd Thrower; Handre Schmidt, Myles Dorrian, Ollie Dodge, James Pritchard (C); Jake Sharp, Will Chudley; Dan Seal, Dan Richmond, Phil Boulton, Mike Howard, George Kruis, Gregor Gillanders, Alex Rae, Paul Tupai.


Replacements: Chris Locke

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