A’s earn bonus point victory over Old Elthamians

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Ampthill secured a bonus point 33-7 National League One win in the club’s first ever encounter against Old Elthamians on Saturday.

The hosts came out of the blocks like an express train, securing turnover ball, driving up through the forwards before moving it through the hands to the left for wing Sam Baker to touch down wide out on two minutes, fly half Josh Sharp adding the extras.

Just seven minutes later George Thornton crashed over from close range, Sharp again converting.

OE’s regrouped and the next 20 minutes saw Ampthill on the back foot as they repelled the visitors.

Having weathered the storm, Sharp sold a dummy in front of the posts and slipped through untouched, converting his own try for a 21-0 half-time lead.

The second half began with the hosts under pressure but they launched a counter attack, backs and forwards combining for scrum half Kevin Barrett to score, Sharp, for once, missing the conversion.

With the bonus point secured it was perhaps understandable that A’s relaxed but the defence remained resolute as wave after wave of OE’s attacks were repulsed.

OE’s captain and A’s Billy Johnson were then shown yellow cards and with both sides on 14 men there was a little more space as OE’s took full advantage in the 63rd minute with prop Jay Rudland-Thomas scoring after a line out catch and drive.

OE’s continued to throw the kitchen sink at Amps but the defence had the final word when another turnover produced another length of the field breakaway try with lock Josh Walker prominent before Sam Baker scored on 78 minutes. Sharp crowned a fine day with his fourth conversion for a 33-7 victory.

Head coach Paul Turner said: “It was a good display against a strong Old Elthamians side.

“When we kept the ball we caused them problems, when we gave the ball away we had to dig deep defensively.”

The win sees Ampthill move up to second place in the table on points difference from Darlington Mowden Park.

This Saturday they hit the road to face Plymouth.