Ampthill made to battle hard in victory over Caldy

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Ampthill were made to battle all the way as they beat Caldy 18-13 to maintain their 100 per cent home record in National Two North on Saturday.

Ampthill had the best of possession and territory in the first half but failed to turn their dominance into points through a combination of excellent defence from the visitors and handling errors,

Amps began well, mounting a sustained attack with multiple phases, but Caldy’s defence was solid until a fine move saw fly-half Joseph Tarrant produce an offload in the tackle which released left wing Gareth Clarke for a 12th minute try converted by the former.

The only score in the remainder of the half came from a 26th minute penalty goal converted by Tarrant, leaving the hosts 10-0 in front at half-time.

The second half began with a bang as right wing Lee Anker chased a kick from replacement scrum half Kevin Barrett and touched down wide on the right in the 43rd minute.

From this point, rather than looking like securing the bonus point, Ampthill rarely looked like scoring again.

First Caldy’s inside centre Thomas Banks crossed for a 52nd minute converted try, then more pressure saw Amps concede a penalty in front of the posts converted by full-back Andrew Soutar.

Tarrant struck a 67th minute penalty goal, cancelled out by another from Soutar.

The remaining game time saw Amps pressed into their own half, culminating in a last play of the game 5m Caldy scrum on the hosts’ line.

The’ visitors ball was disrupted and the referee blew for no side.

Head coach Paul Turner said: “A win is a win, we lost control of the game in the second half and were fortunate to withstand the Caldy fightback.”

Ampthill director of rugby added: “That is the best side we’ve seen here at Dillingham Park this season.

“But a win’s a win; we’ll take the four points.”