Tows pull off fantastic victory to sink Bedford

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Towcestrians 27

Bedford Athletic 25

Towcester came back from the brink to pull off an epic rollercoaster win at Bedford Athletic.

With 30 minutes left on the clock, they looked down and out at 25-3. But an electrifying finish saw them score 24 unanswered points to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Absorbing early pressure from the hosts, Tows had started brightly and should have been first on the scoreboard. Winger Adam Wilkinson, a late call up into the side, was twice denied and a loose pass sent a third chance begging.

Grateful for the let off, Athletic showed their visitors how to finish, turning over ball in midfield and releasing their right wing Stephen Woodhead to gallop in from half way. A James Falvey penalty kept the score in check but before half time, the floodgates opened.

The hosts stole possession from the usually reliable Tows’ line out and spread the ball wide for Woodhead to claim his second. Another try followed for Tommy Mills from a “tap and go” and the hosts added a penalty through Alex Peck to finish the half at 18-3.

Coach Darren Snook delivered a rousing speech at half time but for a moment, it seem his words had fallen on deaf ears as Tows’ midfield defence leaked another try to leave them 25-3 adrift with just 30 minutes to go.

But with Snook’s battle cry now ringing even louder, Tows launched their fight back. A line-out drive put over unyielding tighthead prop John Causebrook. Falvey added a monster touchline conversion to make it 25-10.

A second line out drive saw No 8 Craig Holton slip off the side to touch down and Falvey, continuing to impress with the boot, added a second touchline conversion, this time from the other side of the pitch, to cut the deficit to 25-17.

Athletic’s vocal home support began to go quiet and when Marc Yeates landed a drop goal to bring the score to within five points, they fell silent. In what is becoming a feature of their season, the Tows pack now took control.

They recycled possession to strain the home defence and released the ball to the backs for centre Dave Williams to score wide out to bring the scores level.

The ice-cool Falvey stepped up to take the conversion and, yet again, it sailed between the uprights and Tows were now ahead.

Athletic had a chance to snatch back the lead, but unfortunately for Peck, who had been handed the kicking duties in the absence of the regular fly-half James Mortimer, the attempt went wide.

>>Towcestrians 2nds beat Bedford Athletic 2nds 33-21 in the league last Saturday.

A brace of tries from Richard Carter and an outstanding individual score from Matt Huck helped Tows to a double over the Ath.

Tows 3rds were pipped 15-12 at Huntingdon 2nds.

Despite fielding a strong side, including father and son Ronnie and Mike Speakman, Tows failed to capitalise and went down to title rivals Huntingdon.

>>Brackley 1st XV saw their home game with Northampton Casuals in Midlands 3 East (South) abandoned last Saturday after just nine minutes due to an injury to the referee.

Though Brackley had level 1 referee Dave Grashoff willing to stand in for the injured Stan Barlow-Kearsley, Casuals declined the offer of a replacement, preferring to meet again on another day.

>>Turn to Page 108 for a full report.

>>In other games Buckingham lost 22-7 to Reading, while Bicester beat Littlemore 19-7.