Doncaster Knights 25 Bedford Blues 25: Knights have to settle for draw after last-ditch drop-kick miss

Simon Humberstone's late drop kick was wide. Picture: Chris Etchells
Simon Humberstone's late drop kick was wide. Picture: Chris Etchells
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Fly-half Simon Humberstone missed out on becoming Doncaster Knights’ match-winning hero in the club’s Championship clash against Bedford Blues at Castle Park.

Humberatone was well wide with a 30m drop kick at the death leaving Knights having to settle for a three-point haul from a 25-25 draw.

Many in the crowd would probably have settled for a share of the spoils when Knights, who had lost their previous three games, trailed the in-form Blues 15-5 at the end of the first quarter.

But in the final analysis, Knights were entitled to feel that they had done enough over the 80 minutes to pick up a bonus point win.

Their attacking play, in particular, was impressive with former Bedford man Tom James and Declan Cusack forming a useful half-back pairing on their first start together which resulted in an excellent service for the outside backs which they often put to good use.

Centre pairing Lloyd Hayes and Will Owen, who also benefitted from the depth of the attacking line, certainly proved a threat with ball in hand.

Third-placed Bedford drew first blood with a close-range converted try on four minutes by hooker George Edgson.

Knights opened their account on eight minutes with a try by wing Tyson Lewis – the product of some good support play.

James was involved in the build-up to the try but blotted his copy book later in the half when Bedford fly-half Harry Sheppard intercepted his pass 2m out and raced into the Doncaster half to create the position from which wing Richard Lane capitalised on a huge overlap to score.

Sheppard failed to add the extras but made no mistake with a 20th minute penalty.

Whereas they had let the game get away from them in the first half when going down against Cornish Pirates in their last match at Castle Park, Knights produced an impressive second quarter showing to claim a 17-15 interval lead.

Hooker Ben Hunter sparked off the revival with a crucial close-range try on 26 minutes, converted by Dougie Flockhart making his first appearance of the campaign.

Prop Colin Quigley, who seemingly can’t stop scoring since breaking his duck earlier in the season, gave Knights the lead with another close-range try just before half-time.

Flockhart extended Doncaster’s lead on 44 minutes after Bedford had a man sin-binned for a foul on Quigley.

When Hunter bagged his first brace in Doncaster colours to make it 25-15 on 48 minutes, Knights looked to be on course for a much-needed victory on the day fans’ favourite Matt Challinor became the latest member of the exclusive 200 club.

A 62nd minute penalty by replacement fly-half Will Hooley served to revive the flagging Bedford side and they started to look more and more dangerous the longer the final quarter progressed.

But due to some resilient defending, which will have pleased the coaching staff, Bedford failed to find a way through again until the late departure of hard-working No 8 Alex Shaw left Knights short-handed.

Doncaster: Foley, Flockhart, Hayes, Owen, Lewis, Cusack, James; List, Hunter, Quigley, Challinor, Hicks, Ram, Hills, Shaw. Replacements; Langdon, Evans, Sproston, Eames, Hill, Heaney, Humberstone.