Ampthill were hit by a first half blitz by Hartpury College as they suffered a heavy 37-10 defeat on Saturday.
Hartpury dominated the first half, scoring five tries to lead 32-3 at the break. Ampthill recovered to make a game of the second half but were well beaten by an impressive home performance.
Home full-back Gareth Thompson opened the scoring with a penalty on two minutes after Ampthill tried and failed to play rugby inside their own 22.
Ampthill full-back Elliot Clements-Hill returned the compliment in the 10th minute after collecting a ball outside his own 22 and producing an arcing run which took him around the defensive line.
With the scores level after 10 minutes there could be few in the ground imagining that the hosts would score five tries in the next 20 minutes – but that’s what happened as Hartpury ruthlessly capitalised on Amps errors.
In particular Lithuanian left wing Jonas Mikalcius helped himself to three tries as he brushed off A’s defence.
Gareth Thompson started the rot with an 11th minute try, with scrum-half Ben Vellacott adding his on 20 minutes; Thompson failed with three of his five conversions, leaving the score 32-3 at half-time.
The second half saw Ampthill reduce the error count, stringing some phases together and scoring a well worked try through centre Maxwell Wilkins on 51 minutes .
Hartpury lowered their intensity in the second half, while moving Mikalcius to the other wing may also have contributed his much quieter performance.
On 72 minutes three consecutive penalties saw a 5m lineout opportunity for the home side whose catch & drive resulted in an unconverted try for sub Wayne Thompson.
Outplayed on the day by a physical and skilful Hartpury side, next week’s visit of Richmond represents another major challenge for Ampthill.
Head coach Paul Turner said: “It was disappointing that we came with a game plan which we couldn’t or didn’t use.
“Hartpury – a very good side – clinically punished our unacceptable error count in the first half. We reduced the errors in the second half and were more competitive.”