Clements-Hill Goals Secure Win In 10 Try Thriller
Ampthill welcomed Wharfedale for their first ever visit to Dillingham Park on an cold, overcast & drizzly afternoon which gradually became wet.
Amps squad saw the return of lock Benjamin Gulliver and openside Kennet O’Neill to the pack, scrumhalf Kevin Barrett to the backs with Gavin Williams and Matthew Burke rotated to the bench.
A curates egg of a game in which Amps frequently had control scoring 4 tries in the first half but indiscipline, ruthlessly exploited by the visitors who scored 4 tries when A’s were down a man due to yellow cards, saw the home side hanging on at the end with Wharfedale securing 2 invaluable bonus points.
Ampthill began well scoring tries in the 2nd & 16th minutes through wings George Elliot and Elliott Clements-Hill, the latter converting both from wide out.
The game was stopped towards the end of the first quarter due to an injury to visiting scrum half and captain James Doherty. He was taken to hospital for examination from where he was subsequently cleared to travel home with his family. All at Ampthill wish him a swift recovery and the very best for the future.
After a break of some 20 minutes the game resumed with Wharfedale responding to their misfortune by taking the game to the hosts. The result, in the 21st & 27th minutes, was 2 tries while Ampthill were down to 14 players. Wing Matthew van Sertima scoring the first and blindside Matthew Beesley the second while flyhalf James Guy converted the latter.
Restored to a full compliment, Amps then pulled away with a 32nd minute catch & drive try touched down by O’Neill and another, on 37 minutes from eighthman Maama Molitika who reached out from close range, Clements-Hill adding the extras to both again from wide out leaving the score 28-12 at oranges.
There’s a great spirit amongst Wharfedale’s squad and they responded by scoring an unconverted try on 53 minutes through prop Ricardo Cano.
On 58 minutes Barrett finished from close range after multiple red zone phases with Clements-Hill’s somewhat easier kick sailing between the uprights.
With A’s again reduced to 14 players for a maul infringement the visitors showed their teeth with 65th and 73rd minute tries through number 8 Robert Baldwin and lock George Hedgley, Guy converting the former.
With the hosts back to 15 players both sides had chances in the remainder of the game but neither could trouble the scoreboard, Clements-Hill ruining his 100% record with a last minute 50+m penalty goal miss.
Wharfedale’s travelling support were a credit to their club, loud and vociferous pitch side, generous and complimentary pre and post match, both fixtures between the clubs were a pleasure and Ampthill look forward to locking horns again next season.
DoR Mark Lavery commented “All credit to Wharfedale who came and gave it a right go, the important thing for us today was to win. They are a good side and I fully expect us to face them again next season.”
Tries:- Elliot (2), Clements-Hill (16), O’Neill (32), Molitika (37), Barrett (58)
Conversions:- Clements-Hill (3, 17, 33, 38, 59)
Tries:- van Sertima (21), Beesley (27), Cano (52), Baldwin (65), Hedgley (73)
Conversions:- Guy (28, 66)
Half Time:- 28-12
Referee:- Shane Lewis
Star Man:- Aleki Lutui
Photo Credit – Tim Bartlett