Ampthill triumph after tough battle

editorial image

Ampthill dug deep to secure a bonus point 29-23 victory when hosting Rosslyn Park in National One on Saturday.

A’s were slow out of the blocks and went behind to a third minute unconverted try by prop Nick Lovell after a catch and drive inside the hosts’ 22.

On 12 minutes a well-struck penalty goal by the visitors extended their lead.

Rosslyn were on top in the scrum and lineout but Amps regrouped, taking the game to Park who, after three consecutive penalties in the red zone, conceded a penalty try on 22 minutes and a yellow card after a deliberate knock-on prevented a home scores.

Six minutes later A’s left wing Sam Baker kicked ahead, was obstructed and Park were down to 13 players.

The hosts were ruthless with the extra men, scoring two converted tries through open side Joe Bercis (29 minutes) and loose head Aleki Lutui (32), Lawrence Rayner converting both.

Restored to a full complement, the visitors raised their game, driving the A’s back into their 22 before another catch and drive saw Lovell touch down for his second try with Leonard adding the extras to make it 21-15 at half-time.

The second period began with the two sides exchanging penalty goals before, on 57 minutes, Park’s lock Jamie Gray scored an unconverted try to bring them within one point at 24-23.

Both sides then had chances to score but it was Ampthill who extended the lead in the 76th minute when Bercis added his second try after multiple red zone phases.

The visitors threw everything at the hosts in the last five minutes but Amps’ defence held out for the 29-23 triumph.

Head coach Paul Turner said: “Rosslyn are a fine side and we had to dig deep to secure the win. The boys will take confidence from this result after losing at Plymouth last time out, a game which was there for the taking.”

This Saturday, Ampthill travel to Mowden Park.