Tarrant holds his nerve to seal Ampthill victory

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Ampthill kicked a last-minute penalty to secure an 18-17 victory at Old Albanian in their National League One clash on Saturday.

After an opening 10 minutes in which the game was mostly played between the 22 areas Ampthill opened the scoring on 12 minutes when Joseph Tarrant’s cross field kick was collected on the bounce by full back Steffan Jones.

He kicked past the cover for left wing Samuel Baker to win the foot race to the ball wide on the left, Tarrant’s touch line conversion attempt driven wide by the wind.

On 17 minutes OA’s centre Christopher May converted a penalty after Amps were penalised at a breakdown, followed just four minutes later by a second, this time more difficult, three pointer.

In the 31st minute,Tarrant returned the penalty goal complement leaving his side 8-6 in front at oranges.

After the break, May converted another penalty on 58 minutes to regain the lead, and OA’s extended their advantage four minutes later when Harry Bate went over, capitalising on a host of errors in the A’s defence.

On 68 minutes, Ampthill were awarded a penalty try after Foster interfered with wing Karim Lynch who was winning the race to a grubber, Tarrant adding the extras and Foster earning a yellow card.

Now trailing by one point, the hosts responded with a 40m penalty from May into the teeth of the wind to regain the lead.

The restart came with just a minute and a half of regular time remaining, as a knock on gave the visitors a scrum in front of the posts 40m out.

Ampthill got the drive on resulting in a penalty chance with what would likely be the last kick of the game.

Up stepped Tarrant to send the ball between the posts as director of rugby Mark Lavery said: “Our performance was simply not good enough, we need to take a long hard look in the mirror.

“There is no excuse for serial errors gifting length of the field position resulting in points conceded, we will address these issues in training next week.”

Ampthill host Mowden Park this weekend.