Ampthill (13) Overcome London Scottish (5) And Storm Dennis To Take 4pts
Ampthill welcomed visitors London Scottish for their first ever visit to the Grange Jaguar Bowl on a filthy, wet & windy afternoon. Despite recent heavy rain the pitch was in good condition.
Playing against the howling gale in the first half Amps defense restricted the visitors to a single try, A’s connections would have expected to have scored more than 2 penalty goals and a converted try in the second but as sometimes happened both teams seemed to play better against the wind.
With kicking from hand against the wind very difficult both tried to play their way out of their own half managing several double figure sets of phases but finding achieving significant territorial gains hard.
The home side’s lineout was poor in the first half but improved in the second while the scrummage was pretty even.
Scottish took the lead on 11 minutes with a try from flanker after multiple red zone phases, being driven over from close range, William Magie’s attempt conversion hitting the post.
Try as they might, despite several occasions with similar possession deep in Ampthill’s 22, the visitors were unable to trouble the scoreboard leaving the score 0-5 at oranges.
Amps immediately put the hosts under pressure at the start of the second half winning a 43rd minute penalty mid way between the posts and the touchline outside the Scots 22. In the first of what was, given the conditions, an immaculate kicking display A’s fly half Louis Grimoldby struck the ball cleanly between the posts.
It was now London Scottish turn to show committed defense denying Amps for the next 20 minutes despite being under almost continuous pressure in their own half.
The 58th minute saw home prop Aleki Lutui receive a yellow card after a clash of heads in the tackle, Amps were forced to replace wing Will Foster to keep the front row competitive.
Eventually, A’s won another penalty on 66 minutes, this time on mid way to the right of the posts but on the visitors 22. This kick was harder since it was downwind but Grimoldby’s boot was true allowing A’s to take the lead for the first time in the game 6-5.
The remainder of the game saw Grimoldby keep the hosts in their own half with judicious placement of kicks behind their line forcing them to carry again against the wind.
The 79th minute saw Scottish on a rare visit into the home half when the ball went loose, Grimoldby hacked through, chased his own kick to grubber into the in goal area where replacement wing Josh Gillespie won the footrace to touch down. The last kick of the game saw Grimoldby again superbly accurate with the boot to score the conversion from much closer to the downwind touchline.
In truth, this wasn’t a game for those that like running rugby, but the host’s defense in the first half proved key along with Grimoldby’s 100% kicking record.
Ampthill Director of Rugby commented “A game for the purists, conditions were awful, credit must go to all the players in both squads. Our defense was key in the first half and we executed professionally enough in the second to take the points.”
London Scottish Coach Steve Scott commented “The toughest time to lose a game is the last couple of minutes and we’ve now had that happen 3 games in a row. Conditions were horrendous, even playing with the wind. I thought both teams played better into the very strong wind, it’s not often that is the case.”
Half time:- Ampthill 0 London Scottish 5
Referee:- Jack Makepeace
Man of the Match:- Louis Grimoldby, Ampthill (Could of been any of the pack)
Tries: Gillespie (79)
Cons: Grimoldby (80)
Pens: Grimoldby (43, 66)
YC: Lutui (54, foul play)
Tries: Frost (11)
Lineouts Won 4 7
Lineouts Lost 6 3
Scrums Won 6 5
Scrums Lost 2 0
Penalties Conceded 12 11
Yellow Cards 1 0
Lewis 6, Sutherland 6, Sage 7 (Gillespie 66, 7), Mathews 7, Foster 6 (Collins 58, 7), Grimoldby 8, Barrett 7 (FukoFuka 71), Pupuma 7 (Christie 17, 7), Ward 6 (van Vuuren 58, 7), Lutui 7 (Morris 66, 7), Kpoku 7, Kerry 7 (Arthur 40, 7), Johnson 7, Bercis 7 (Blackmore 66, 6), Hudson 8
Hibberd 7, Stevenson 7, Beattie 7, Gordon 7 (Barnes 66, 6), Duncan 6, Magie 7 (Shepard 66, 6), Brand 7 (Barton 71), Holsey 7 (Eveleigh 71), Malcom 7 (Crozier 71), Whyte 7 (Cringle 66, 6), Toolis 7, Jurevicius 7 (Cheisvili 54, 6), Frost 7 (Bright 66, 7), Wynne 7, Eliet 7