A’s prevail despite Ionians late show

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Ampthill managed to hold off a spirited fightback from Hull Ionians to register a 36-34 victory at Brantingham Park.

A’s led 24-20 at half-time, and 36-20 after 54 minutes, before Ionians closed the gap to earn two bonus points with a converted try at the death.

Ampthill took the lead with a seventh minute penalty goal by right wing Elliot Clements-Hill after the hosts were penalised at a breakdown.

Just three minutes later Ionians responded with a penalty from fly-half Gregory Lound after Amps were penalised for a similar offence.

On 13 minutes the home side scored a fine try when scrum-half Adam Thomas caught A’s napping with a quick break, before offloading to Stephen Slingsby for the score converted by Lound.

Amps hit back when full-back Karim Lynch offloaded out of the tackle to supporting centre William Maisey who touched down under the posts in the 15th minute, with Clements-Hill adding the extras to tie the scores.

Three minutes later, Amps fly-half Joseph Tarrant intercepted a pass outside his own 22 and raced 65m to touch down, with Clements-Hill again successful with the kick.

Openside Evans then broke from a breakdown on the Hull 22 in the 23rd minute to cross the whitewash, with Clements-Hill adding the extras.

Hull responded before half-time, however, as Lound added another penalty before the half finished with a try by home openside Laurence Cowan, converted by Lound.

The second half began with Ampthill turning the screw, and they were rewarded with an unconverted catch & drive try wide on the left on 47 minutes as Evans came up with the ball at the back of the maul.

Three minutes later Clements-Hill finished a fine backs move, before converting his own try, but Amps were soon incensed as a seemingly good try from Bullivant was disallowed by the touch judge.

Encouraged, Ionians came back again as a well deserved 67th minute try from captain Joseph Makin, converted by Lound, saw the gap reduced to nine points.

Ionians dominated the last 10 minutes of the game after the visitors went a man down to a yellow card, and they pulled a try back through Edward Falkingham, but Amps held on for the win.

Head coach Paul Turner said: “A good win against a very good side whose league position does not reflect their standard of play.

“The game changed when, with the score 20-36, we scored a sixth try which was subsequently overturned by a late flag.

“Credit to Ionians, we look forward to playing them next season.”