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The BBC's Simon Clarke
"Rotherham are up after three years of trying"
 real 28k

Sunday, 28 May, 2000, 21:12 GMT 22:12 UK
Tears for Bedford as Rotherham go up

Rotheram celebrate promotion as the whistle blows
Bedford 14-0 Rotherham 0 (agg 34-40)

Rotherham survived the wind, the rain, two sin-binnings and two penalty tries to become Yorkshire's first Premiership One side at Goldington Road.

The homespun Clifton Lane side needed every ounce of Tyke grit and determination to preserve the 20-point first leg lead they held at the start of the game.

Bedford's fightback proved too little too late
Just as they had been on top last Wednesday, so they were rocked back on Sunday.

Almost the entire second half was played in a 10 metre area at the bottom of the pitch close to the Rotherham line.

But when the final whistle sounded, with Rotherham a man down, Bedford were six points short of their target - and Yorkshire had a team in the top flight at last.

In a scoreless opening period played largely in heavy rain, Rotherham were quickly on top, only to be forced back by relentless Bedford pressure.

Unfortunately for the home side, slippery handling conditions forced elementary mistakes and despite being camped on the Rotherham line for long periods, they could not cross.

Pressure tells

But Rotherham had already been warned about collapsing mauls close to their own line, they transgressed once too often- the penalty try was awarded and Scott Stewart converted.

Unable to win their own line-out ball on a regular basis, the visitors were vulnerable to the long punt downfield.

Twice Bedford mauls were held up, Rotherham gaining the benefit of Ed Morrison's doubt on both occasions.

On the next occasion, they were not so lucky. Another penalty try, another Stewart conversion, this time with the added punishment of a spell in the sin-bin for Jim Thorpe.

Rotherham attempted to regroup but their Achilles heel had been found. Only a Bedford knock-on saved them in the same bottom corner where they had been exposed twice before.

Carlos Hassan was shown a yellow card four minutes into injury-time for a high tackle on Stewart.

Bedford moved forward again but there was not enough time for them to find their favourite corner.

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