A’s outclassed in rare defeat

Ben Calder scores for Ampthill at Coventry
Ben Calder scores for Ampthill at Coventry

Ampthill suffered a rare defeat at the weekend, losing 29-19 to Coventry on the road in National One, writes Tim Bartlett.

The A’s can have no complaints over the final result as their hosts enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession in a first half that saw them turn around 22-7 behind.

Ben Calder touched down on the half-hour mark for their only try of the opening period, but it wasn’t enough.

Ampthill director of rugby Mark Lavery said: “We knew what we were coming to here, we know how difficult it is to win here.

“Quite frankly, the first 40 minutes we just haven’t got off the bus, we’ve left ourselves a mountain to climb.

“We did turn up in the second-half and we’ve had opportunities to win the game.

“Some of the things that happened with the whistle were interesting.

“But the bottom line is, you give a team like Coventry a 22-7 headstart going into the half, you’re going to find it hard work.”

Karim Lynch and Sid Blackmore scored second-half tries for Ampthill to bring the visitors back into the match at 22-19.

But a fourth try for sixth-placed Coventry on the hour reasserted their 10-point lead which Ampthill failed to narrow despite enjoying periods of possession in the Coventry 22 in the game’s closing stages.

“They’re a good group, this lot,” continued Lavery.

“We’ll take it on the chin, dust ourselves down and go again this weekend.”

The loss leaves the A’s in third place in the table and five points adrift of second-placed Plymouth Albion.

Ampthill return home this Saturday to entertain bottom-but-one side Hull Ionians at 3pm.

Lavery said: “They are down the bottom of the table and fighting for their lives, so it won’t be easy.”