Market Rasen and Louth RFC made a few big strides forward despite a heavy defeat to a very good Bedford Athletic side on Saturday.
After two indifferent performances there was a different demeanour against the high flyers as the hosts began with real purpose to claim the majority of early possession and territory.
But, befitting their lofty league position, Bedford took their first opportunity with clinical efficiency, full-back Ben Johnson opening the scoring and James Mortimer added the conversion.
Despite this setback, the Red and Greens took the game back to their illustrious opponents, but were undone by a lack of accuracy.
Bedford soaked up the pressure and then extended their lead through Johnson and Mortimer again.
The Red and Green resolve didn’t falter, but the score gave Bedford added impetus as they began to dictate the game.
Mortimer’s ambitious penalty attempt from Rasen’s 10-metre line fell short, but when Bedford won a further penalty advantage, the Rasen and Louth defence stood off tackles and allowed flanker Josh Pearson to cross.
Mortimer made no mistake with the conversion and was soon adding another as Bedford dragged the chasing Rasen defenders from one side of the pitch to the other for lock Tom Albone to gallop in for a try bonus point.
Trailing 28-0, the hosts then camped in the Bedford 22 for the rest of the half and almost went over from a powerful scrum before Chris Everton kicked a penalty.
Clearly buoyed by their efforts before the break, Rasen began the second period positively, scrum-half Chris Everton touching the ball against the base of the posts for a try after a darting run. Everton’s conversion gave the Red and Greens a glimmer of hope at 28-10.
But Bedford stepped up a gear, Mortimer adding a penalty and then two conversions to tries from Pearson and Charlie Darlow to seal a 45-10 win.
Rasen and Louth: Haig, Brown, Cole, L. Dearden, Thornes, C. Starling, Pryer, Chamberlin, C. Everton, P. Everton, Wise, Beasley, D. Starling, Goodwin, Norman. Subs: Alldridge (Cole), Crowe (Haig), F. Norton (Norman).