Amps battle to Hull triumph in hard fought clash

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Ampthill consolidated their place at the top of the table after a hard fought win over Hull Ionians at Dillingham Park.

Amps started well by securing the kick-off and driving the visitors back into their own 22, eventually forcing Hull to concede a second minute penalty which was converted by fly-half Joseph Tarrant.

Ampthill regrouped, drove again and eventually went over for an 11th minute try wide on the right by openside flanker Joseph Bercis, converted by Tarrant.

The visitors, having recovered their kick-off, were on the attack when a forced pass was intercepted by Amps right wing Darrell Dyer just outside his 22. Sprinting for the line, he sat the covering full-back down with a firm hand-off and crossed wide on the right for a 14th minute unconverted try.

Having established the lead, Amps were guilty of poor discipline at breakdowns, allowing Ionians’ scrum-half to strike a 19th minute penalty goal and miss another.

Despite both sides’ sweat, there was no further score before half-time, leaving Amps leading 15-3 at the interval.

The second half saw some changes in personnel, with Amps extended their lead in the 46th minute with a penalty goal by Tarrant.

Ionians responded with their best period of play, leading to an unconverted 67th minute try midway between the corner flag and the posts by their outside centre.

The visitors’ openside flanker received a second yellow card leading to a red for a dangerous tackle on Tarrant, and no sooner had the game restarted than second row Paino Hehea went in under the posts for a try converted by Brendan Burke.

Ionians responded with a 79th minute converted try through their right wing to complete the scoring.

Ampthill director of rugby Mark Lavery said: “We didn’t play to our usual standard but still did enough to secure the points and deny them anything. It’s already time to move on and focus on next week.”