An impressive second half performance ensured Ampthill earned a 45-14 victory over Hull on a windy afternoon at Dillingham Park.
The game began with A’s scoring twice inside the first 10 minutes, but the visitors belied their lowly league position by matching the hosts with two converted tries of their own in a very competitive first quarter.
The home side gained some control in the second quarter but only led by one score at the break. However, the second half saw Ampthill turn the screw as they scored 24 unanswered points.
Blindside flanker Darrel Dyer crashed over from short range wide on the right in the second minute after several phases in the red zone, with fly-half Joseph Tarrant adding the extras despite the gale.
Hull’s pack created their response on five minutes when a catch and drive was adjudged to have been stopped illegally – referee Proctor awarding a penalty try which was converted by their fly-half.
Ampthill’s Tarrant forced his way over the line on eight minutes to the right of the posts after more red zone pressure, and he was also successful with the somewhat easier conversion.
The next 15 minutes belonged to the visitors, whose pack took control in the tight and disrupted A’s scrum and lineout, while dominating possession and territory.
In the 24th minute, with the home side down to 13 players and the visitors to 14, one catch and drive follow another until a Hull try was awarded – touched down by their openside flanker and converted by their fly-half.
With both sides restored to a full compliment, the hosts regained parity up front and loosehead Joseph Sproston took a tap penalty a couple of metres out before bulldozing his way to score to the left of the posts. Tarrant converted to leave the score 21-14 at half-time.
The second half saw Ampthill gain control in the forwards, and the result was a flurry of tries – with the first being a penalty try on 50 minutes from a 5m scrum.
In the 58th minute, openside flanker Joseph Bercis scored his 30th try of the season from a trademark catch and drive.
The 65th minute saw number 8 Maama Molitika carry two defenders across the line for a try, while replacement left wing Gareth Clarke added another on 68 minutes after the ball had been moved from right to left.
Tarrant converted the first two but narrowly failed with the latter pair despite kicking against the gale and from wide out.
Amps head coach Paul Turner said: “Hull came at us with an intensity not seen at Dillingham Park this season; their pack was outstanding for the first 20 minutes or so.
“We produced a professional performance in the second half to take the game away from them”