Ampthill and Blues feeling good for the big derby

Ampthill and Bedford Blues are gearing up for their local derby this weekend

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 7:54 am
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 7:56 am
Dillingham Park

It’s derby day at Dillingham Park on Saturday (3pm) as Ampthill take on Bedford Blues in the Greene King IPA Championship.

And both clubs will be going into the clash feeling pretty good about themselves.

Ampthill made it two wins in a row with a 22-13 success at London Scottish.

The visitors fell behind to a penalty but responded when they won a penalty of their own and, from the advantage, Russell Bennett put in a cross-field ball towards the corner and winger Ben Cambriani clipped the ball on the half-volley, sending his man the wrong way and ran on to dot down. Bennett added the extras.

Scottish hit back with another penalty but, as it became a game for the kickers, Bennett struck two of his own to ensure Ampthill led 13-6 at the break.

Bennett extended the lead with another penalty but Ampthill were unable to capitalise when the Scottish wing was sent to the sin bin for a spear tackle on Joe-Luca Smith.

Replacement Fin Smith was then impressive from the tee as he added another six points in the tough conditions to make it 22-6.

Scottish didn’t give up, however, and Leo Fielding went over in the corner late on but it was too little, too late.

Ampthill captain Charlie Beckett said: “It’s a massive win for us, it’s a really hard place to come and play. I’ve been here three or four times before and never won!

“That Scottish team, especially the pack, is very experienced. It wasn’t a day for a beautiful game, but we played the conditions and territory well.”

Blues, meanwhile, picked up their first win of the campaign with a resolute defensive display in a 31-23 victory over Doncaster Knights at Goldington Road last Friday night.

Having taken a 6-0 lead thanks to two Will Maisey penalties, Blues found themselves behind as a a Sam Olver penalty and a Gareth Denman try put Doncaster 10-6 up.

Blues hit back as Pat Tapley seized on the ball to dot down after Billy McBryde had misjudged the bounce of a Rich Lane grubber kick but it was the Knights who went in with a 17-11 half-time lead when Alex Dolly went over.

But that was the last time the visitors led as Lane crossed just a minute after the restart and Bedford never looked back as Maisey set Lane up for his second try.

Alex Woolford played the ball back inside to Tui Uru to go over and put Blues in control.

Olver kicked two penalties to ensure a nervy finish but Maisey responded with two of his own to ensure Doncaster were denied a bonus point and that Blues got their season up and running.

Assistant coach Jake Sharp said: “Before the game we spoke as a group about the pride and passion of the town and I think we showed that with our performance. The challenge now is to hit those same heights in the coming weeks.

“The Championship is very congested in terms of the table. It can be a really exciting season for us, we’re showing different ways we can win, and we want to put a run of results together now.”