1stXV Dig Deep To Secure Bonus Point Win Over Rosslyn Park
Ampthill 29 Rosslyn Park 23
Ampthill welcomed Rosslyn Park on a fine but chilly afternoon with bright sunshine, excellent playing conditions and a light westerly breeze across the pitch.
Amps squad changes included up front, Aleki Lutui at loose head, Matt Dawson at hooker and Ben Gulliver at lock while in the backs Lawrence Rayner returned at fly half. The bench saw Lewis Grinsall make his debut at hooker and the return of prop Matt Collins from 3 months out with injury.
A’s were very slow out of the blocks going behind to a 3rd minute unconverted try after a catch & drive inside the hosts 22 had seen prop Nick Lovell come up with the ball.
On 12 minutes a well struck penalty goal by the visitors fly half Harry Leonard extended their lead after the home side infringed at a break down.
Initially the visitors were on top at both the scrum and the lineout but Ampthill re-grouped taking the game to Park who, after 3 consecutive technical penalties in the red zone conceded a penalty try on 22 minutes and received a yellow card after a deliberate knock on had prevented a home try.
6 minutes into the YC A’s left wing Sam Baker kicked ahead, was obstructed and Rosslyn Park were down to 13 players.
The hosts were ruthless with the extra men scoring two converted tries through open side Joe Bercis (29) and loose head Aleki Lutui (32), Rayner converting both.
Restored to a full complement the visitors raised their game, driving the home side back into their 22 before another catch & drive saw Lovell touch down for his second try with Leonard adding the extras leaving the score 21-15 at oranges.
The second half began with the two sides exchanging penalty goals before, on 57 minutes, Park’s lock Jamie Gray scored their third and this time unconverted try to see the score 24-23.
Both sides had chances to score but it was Ampthill who extended their lead in the 76th minute when Bercis scored his second try after multiple red zone phases.
The visitors threw everything at the hosts in the last 5 minutes but were denied leaving the score 29-23 at no side.
Head Coach Paul Turner “Rosslyn Park are a fine side and we had to dig deep on a number of occasions to secure the win. The boys will take confidence from this result after losing at Plymouth Albion last time out, a game which was there for the taking.”
Tries:- Penalty (22), Bercis (29, 76), Lutui (32); Conversions:- Rayner (30, 33); Penalties:- Rayner (52)
Tries:- Lovell (3, 38), Gray (57); Conversions:- Leonard (39); Penalties:- Leonard (12, 48)
Half Time:- Ampthill 21 Rosslyn Park 15
Man of the Match:- Ben Gulliver (Ampthill)
Referee:- Dan Parrott
Attendance :- 235