A’s bag a bonus point win against DMP

Ampthill battled hard for their victory. Picture (c) June Essex
Ampthill battled hard for their victory. Picture (c) June Essex

Ampthill delivered an eye-catching display as they romped to a 32-20 bonus point win over Darlington Mowden Park in National 1 on Saturday.

The game began with A’s on the back foot, but it was the home side who took the lead against the run of play on 11 minutes with a 45m penalty goal from wing Elliot Clements-Hill when the visitors were penalised at a ruck.

However, just two minutes later, DMP fly-half Garry Law returned the complement with a well struck penalty goal of his own.

Ampthill began to turn the screw at the set piece with two successive scrum penalties against Mowden seeing them camped in the red zone to the right of the posts. When a further 5m scrum saw Ampthill’s drive for the line illegally stopped, the referee awarded a penalty try, with Clements-Hill adding the extras in the 21st minute.

The visitors responded by disrupting the Amps lineout and it was not until the 34th minute that number 8 Darrell Dyer picked up at the base of a ruck and dived over the line; Clements-Hill converted.

DMP were nothing if not competitive and, right on the half-time whistle, scrum-half Bruno Bravo scampered over the line, with Law converting for 20-10 at half-time.

The second half started with a bang, with debutant prop Jack Culverhouse crashing over the visitors’ line wide on the left after the forwards had battered away through several phases. Clements-Hill added the extras.

The 46th minute saw A’s reduced to 14 players after a touch judge intervention, and Mowden took advantage with replacement back Ed Coulson scoring an unconverted try on 48 minutes.

The hosts, still a man down, then produced their best passage of play which saw Clements-Hill cross wide on the right unopposed in the 52nd minute before he converted his own try.

The game became fragmented for the last quarter, with both benches being emptied, multiple scrum resets and the visitors running everything but to no avail.

The scoreboard remained untroubled until the 80th minute when hooker Simon Uzokwe touched down a fine unconverted team try to complete the scoring in an entertaining encounter.

Ampthill head coach Paul Turner said: “This was agreat win against a very good Mowden Park side, and I am pleased with the response to what was a poor performance last Saturday.

“This week, though not error free, we were much smarter and played to our strengths. This is a very tough league and we are still finding our feet.”