Ampthill leave it late for victory, but Bedford Blues lose opener at leaders

A try in the last play of the game from replacement prop Jevaughn Warren secured Ampthill’s first competitive win of the season, beating Cambridge 28-26 in their opening game in the RFU Championship on Saturday.
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But Bedford Blues went down 41-21 at home in their opener against title favourites Ealing Trailfinders.

Ampthill head coach Paul Turner said “It’s a win that we needed to get us on the road, and it’s one we’ll take.”We made things difficult for ourselves and probably stared defeat until the last play.”

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With just over 10 minutes to go, Cambridge took the lead for the first time in the match with their third try.

Opening day late joy for Ampthill, but Bedford Blues lose at leaders.Opening day late joy for Ampthill, but Bedford Blues lose at leaders.
Opening day late joy for Ampthill, but Bedford Blues lose at leaders.

But as the clock went past 80 minutes, Ampthill dramatically won the game as a clever tap and go move from 5m out was finished by Warren and a simple conversion from Gwyn Parks secured the win.

Meanwhile the Blues put in a valiant effort against Ealing but ultimately they fell afoul of the whistle on too many occasions to get a result on the right side of the scoreboard.

Playing at one stage with 13, then another with 14, it was a heroic defensive performance during those periods, but the physical and mental aptitude required eventually caught up in the legs as Ealing took charge in the second half.

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Assistant coach Jim Henry said: “Ealing are a very good side and if you make that many errors against them, you’re going to get punished.

“The lads dug in and showed a lot of fight to stay in the contest. But you have to be at your absolute best to have any chance and we let the game get away from us. You can’t criticise the effort from the team, that’s the minimum standard, and we just need to look at correcting those wrongs in the coming weeks.”

In Regional One South East, Bedford Athletic were beaten 31-13 at Colchester. They should have taken more from the game but spurned a number of opportunities through a lack of accuracy, composure and discipline to leave the home of the league leaders with nothing.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​