Cornish Pirates plunder the points as Ampthill’s long journey proves in vain

Ampthill were unable to build on the previous weekend's win over London Scottish as a gruelling 329-mile journey to Cornish Pirates ended in a 33-14 defeat.
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Head coach Paul Turner, who made six changes to the starting 15 - some tactical, some enforced – said: “It was a disappointing result as we started so well.

“It was a tough game in difficult conditions. I really can’t fault the effort levels of our team but our consistency and our drill needs to get better overall - basic fundamentals.

Pirates didn’t really have to do a lot and they punished our mistakes.

Paul Turner - greater consistency needed from his Ampthill side.Paul Turner - greater consistency needed from his Ampthill side.
Paul Turner - greater consistency needed from his Ampthill side.

“We have a couple of weeks off now before a very tough block of games starting against Ealing on 30th March at home.”

With the pitch heavy after a week of rain in the South West, both sides were to be put under pressure by the conditions and the kicking game was critical.

The Mob started fast and immediately put their hosts under pressure.

From a lineout on the hosts’ 22 the visitors worked the ball wide, Tom Bacon broke the line and, as he was tackled, popped the ball up for Pete White, who dived over the whitewash. An easy conversion for Gwyn Parks made it 7-0 with three minutes played.

Ampthill could and maybe should have extended their lead a few minutes later – a combination of the conditions and decision-making costing a second try-scoring opportunity.

With a quarter of the game gone Pirates were level. Their prop broke on his own 22, kicked the ball forward and following a second kick the Pirates wing won a footrace with Tom Bacon to touch down.

The game was still tight and both sides squandered opportunities to score before Pirates took the lead on 34 minutes.

Pirates playing with advantage on Ampthill’s tryline popped the ball wide and Trewin wrestled through the line to score right of posts.

The hosts' third on 39 minutes came from another kick chase – the wing again winning the race and a third conversion left the score at 21-7 - a scoreline not reflecting the possession and territory that Ampthill had created.

The second half proved to be an arm wrestle as the conditions under foot continued to create problems for both sides, especially in the scrum.

Pirates extended their lead within five minutes of the restart – Ampthill were in an attacking position but a momentary lapse in concentration was punished as the Pirates wing collected the ball on his own 22 and went the length of the pitch to score, the conversion missed.

Ampthill didn’t give up and continued taking the fight to their hosts.

Their efforts were rewarded with a second try on 62 minutes, Samson Adejimi capping a really strong performance with a try off the lineout catch and drive and it looked like the Mob could get something from the game.

Both sides continued to trade blows but as the pitch cut up more and more, neither side would add to the scoreline until Pirates secured their fifth try with the final play of the game.

FOOTBALL: Bedford Town’s Tuesday night scheduled home game with AFC Dunstable fell foul of a waterlogged pitch after an inspection.

It was more frustration as since the start of February, Eagles’ matches against AFC Dunstable, Stotfold and Thame United, and then last Saturday, Welwyn Garden City, have all been postponed.

The Eagles will now prepare for Saturday's visit of Hadley.

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