Amps fire second half salvo to sink Blayford

Joe Tarrant scored a try for Ampthill
Joe Tarrant scored a try for Ampthill

Ampthill ran in four tries in the second half to secure a bonus point victory against Blayford at Dillingham Park.

The clash was the first ever game between the clubs at first XV level on a bright, dry late summer afternoon with perfect playing conditions.

The Amps squad saw one change in the backs and two on the bench; Keven Barrett coming in at scrum-half with Gavin Williams reverting to the bench and prop Lewis Brunger replacing the ill Billy Walker beside him.

After a very competitive first half Amps made the game safe with three tries in a nine-minute purple patch, with Blaydon responding in the last 20 minutes.

The game started with a bang with Amps scoring a second-minute try through Barrett, converted by left wing Elliott Clements-Hill after the former England 7s captain had sniped after a 5m lineout drive had stalled.

From the kick-off the visitors drove deep into A’s 22, securing a 10m lineout. A catch and drive saw the hosts penalised for bringing own the maul and a penalty try awarded, converted by their fly-half.

Fortunately the spectators had some time to get their breath back as it took 25 minutes for the next points to trouble the scoreboard as both sides settled down and the game became a very competitive forward battle both at the set piece and in the loose.

On 30 minutes open side Matt Howling finished a catch and drive after a fine move with both backs and forwards involved earned a red zone lineout; Clements-Hill adding the extras from wide out before adding another three points from a 35th minute breakdown penalty.

Neither side was able to threaten the line before half-time leaving the score 17-7 at the break.

The second half belonged to the home side with four further tries from captain Maama Molitka (49 minutes), fly-half Joseph Tarrant (53), full-back Karim Lynch (58) and Clements-Hill (75) who converted the latter two.

Blaydon, never having given up, had their best spell of the game in the last quarter with more territory and possession producing a 65th minute try for their lock and making Ampthill defend for much of the time but without threatening the line.

Ampthill head coach Paul Turner said: “A great win against a very good team; to be 17-7 up at half time against a strong wind spoke volumes. We talked about being ruthless at half-time and executed well, it was a great squad effort where the bench played their part.”