Bonus point for Ampthill in Plymouth Albion defeat

First for sport
First for sport

A much-changed Ampthill side secured a losing bonus point against Plymouth Albion with a late try in a game played with strong wind in the first half and torrential rain in the second.

The Amps squad was stretched due to injuries, with new 18-year-old signings Cameron Keenan and Harry Agnew making their adult rugby debuts.

Up front Lewis Brunger made his first start this season alongside hooker James Fish, while 6ft 8ins Joshua Tyler was given his season debut for the first XV at lock and Thomas Nutley started at blindside with Darrel Dyer reverting to Number 8.

In the backs, Keenan – just back from playing age grade rugby in New Zealand – was given the scrum-half spot with Maxwell Wilkins moving to centre inside partner Elliott Reeder.

After a tight first 20 minutes which saw Fish leave the field with a leg injury to be replaced by Henry Peck, the hosts took the lead in the second quarter before scoring an unconverted try with the last play of the half to lead 8-0 at the interval.

Early in the second half, prop Brunger was knocked out in a nasty collision and the game held up for some time while the head injury protocol was followed before he was despatched to hospital for scans.

Amps went further behind after conceding a penalty try from a red zone scrum, before two penalty goals by full-back Elliot Clements-Hill and a converted try by Agnew meant the game finished 18-13 to Plymouth – enough to earn Amps the losing bonus point.

Ampthill director of rugby Mark Lavery said: “I am very proud of the way the squad responded to adversity, firstly with the injury issues leading up to the game and then with their response on field to more injury problems.

“In particular the two youngsters who both made their adult rugby debuts today were impressive.

“I’d also like to thank the NHS for their professional and rapid triage and diagnosis which allowed Lewis Brunger to travel back (home) this evening.”

Next up for Ampthill is a National 1 home fixture against Hull Ionians at Dillingham Park on Saturday afternoon.