A much-changed Luton RFC reached the semi-final of the Beds Cup on Saturday after a 32-27 win at local rivals Bedford Queens.
Up against a side who play one level below in Midlands Three East South, it wasn’t long before Luton broke the deadlock with a breakaway try by Aronte Quashie, capitalising on a handling error.
Luton asserted their early dominance once more through a Tom Winch interception try as Olly Haynes converted to make it 12-0.
He then added a penalty as well to give Luton some breathing space at 15-0.
However, the hosts came back before the break as a series of missed tackles allowed Queens to open their account with their fly-half able to skip his way over twice and make the interval score 15-10.
With bodies already tired on both sides, the second half was one of grit and determination.
Luton once again opened the scoring through loose head prop Alvin Mureithi’s superb break from the line-out.
Haynes once again provided the conversion to take the visitors 22-10 ahead.
A further two tries followed, but Luton were in danger of being pegged back late on as Queens crossed the line twice more, although the visitors just about hung on.
Head coach Andy Kelly said: “It was a superb defensive effort driving their big runners back over the gain line. Unlike recent games, we created and scored tries when the opportunities arose.
“The forwards won the collisions and the set-piece against a very strong pack with the backs, controlled by the 10, taking their moves to the gain line regularly making good ground.
“It was a much better game from the back row who supported the ball in attack looking to keep the ball alive and in defence winning or slowing opposition ball down.”
Luton host Oadby Wyggestonians this weekend.