1stXV Overcome Feisty Fylde
Ampthill welcomed visitors Fylde for their first ever visit to Dillingham Park on an initially overcast but later dry & sunny afternoon after heavy overnight rain. Amps squad saw Sydney Blackmore return from injury at openside, William Maisey replace the injured Joseph Tarrant at flyhalf and Elliot Reeder rotate to centre while lock Karl Braband (returned from the 1881s) and William Maisey (rotated) were on the bench.
A’s had by far the better of possession & territory but could not turn their field position into points, the scrum was even until mid way through the second half when the home side gained an advantage while Fylde had the advantage in the lineout again until late in the second period.
A’s were caught napping at the kick off with Fylde’s wing Anthony Bingham scoring a 3rd minute try wide on the right after leaving several defenders sprawled on the floor in his wake, flyhalf Thomas Morton converting from wide out.
The hosts responded in the 6th minute by working the ball through the forwards into the opposition’s half where they were penalised at a ruck 35m out, fullback Elliot Clements-Hill slotting the penalty to reduce the arrears.
The next 25 minutes or so saw the home side camped in Fylde’s half, much of it in their 22 but time after time a combination of good defence, poor option taking and bad execution saw the pressure relieved without troubling the scoreboard. Finally, on 31 minutes, after another series of phases in the red zone, the ball was moved quickly across the line for left wing Conor Bullivant to dive over in the corner, Clements-Hill adding the extras from the touchline.
Despite more pressure from Ampthill the score remained 10-7 at oranges.
The second half began with a 43rd minute unconverted try through Captain Aleki Lutui who again played across the front row during the game. Fylde came back immediately with a fine 46th minute try from 20m out by replacement lock Paul Arnold, converted by Horton.
On 58 minutes, Clements-Hill was put clear by scrum half Gavin Williams for a touchdown to the right of the posts, however, his relatively simple conversion drifted across the face of the posts.
With the game poised at 20-14 A’s lost openside Sydney Blackmore to a yellow card for a ‘team’ offence at a breakdown. The visitors taking full advantage by securing a 75th minute converted try through wing Oliver Brennand.
Trailing 20-21 with just 4 minutes to play and a man down Amps had to dig deep, the resulting close range match winning try came from Number 8 Maama Molitika after centre William Goodge had broken tackles, not for the first time, in mid-field and carried the ball deep into Fylde’s 22.
Leading 25-21 the hosts secured the restart and played out the remaining couple of minutes to record a bonus point win over their tenacious and talented opposition.
Head Coach Paul Turner commented “Having dominated territory in the first half but failed to captalise on numerous opportunities we tried hard to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory but managed to secure the win at the death after Will Goodge broke the line despite us being a man down. Some dull rugby and far too many unforced errors marred this performance, we’ll need to play much better next week at Coventry.”
Ampthill 25 Fylde 21
Tries:- Bullivant (31), Lutui (43), Clements-Hill (58), Molitka (78)
Conversions:- Clements-Hill (32)
Penalties:- Clements-Hill (6)
Tries:- Bingham (3), Arnold (46), Brennand (75)
Conversions:- Morton (4, 47, 76)
Half Time:- 10-7
Referee:- Jamie Leahy
Star Man:- William Goodge