Ampthill Dig Deep To Subdue Competitive Chinnor
Chinnor travelled to Dillingham Park on a crisp, sunny, windless afternoon to find, despite recent rain, perfect playing conditions. Notwithstanding Ampthill being at ‘home’ they clearly hadn’t got off the bus as Chinnor stormed into a 2 try lead.
First on 2 minutes full back Kieran Goss touched down for an unconverted try after Chinnor had controlled the opening phases from the kick off, tying up the Amps defence until he ran in unopposed.
Then, centre Alex Dancer took a training ground shoulder ball off first phase to slice through the A’s defence in the 5th minute scoring to the left of the posts, surprisingly the much easier conversion was also missed.
A’s knuckled down and came back into the game on 10 minutes with a trademark catch & drive, hooker Aleki Lutui coming up with the ball, centre James Pritchard converting from wide out.
Chinnor were proving a handful having much the better of territory and possession although the hosts defence had woken up, snuffing out multiple scoring chances for the visitors.
In the 28th minute wing Sam Baker received the ball wide on the left, beat his marker before chipping the cover to touch down on the left mid way to the corner flag, Pritchard’s conversion bisecting the posts.
Chinnor continued to have the better of the game forcing the home side to defend the red zone eventually settling for a 40th minute penalty goal by fly half Craig Holland from in front of the posts to leave the score 14-13 at oranges.
Ampthill’s supporters were wondering how they led at half time given the extent of the visitors dominance but the half time team talk must have been effective as Amps came out firing in the second half.
The 45th minute saw Baker add his second try after backs & forwards had combined to expose the visiting defence, Pritchard converting from wide out.
On 50 minutes, back in Chinnor’s half fullback Will Foster joined the line around 35m out using strength to break the first tackle and stepping the cover to score a fine individual try, Pritchard again converting.
Notwithstanding Ampthill being at ‘home’ they clearly hadn’t got off the bus as Chinnor stormed int
Chinnor weren’t about to give up despite training 28-13 as the 55th minute saw full back Goss touch down his second try after good hands & support had shredded the home defence, Holland adding the extras from wide out.
The ding dong nature of the game continued with Lutui’s second try after a 60th minute catch & drive, Pritchard keeping up his 100% kicking record.
Still the visitors weren’t subdued as replacement outside back Joshua Hudson finished a fine team try on 75 minutes, replacement fly half Greg Goodfellow converting.
A’s sealed the game in the 77th minute with a penalty goal from Pritchard to leave the final score 38-27.
This was a hard game with difference between the sides being the hosts maul defence and Pritchard’s kicking.
Head Coach Paul Turner commented “Despite the worst first half performance of the season we managed to lead at half time against a side that caused us more trouble than any other this term. The players deserve great credit for securing a bonus point win and ending 2018 on a high, however, there is still much work to do if we are to achieve our goals.”
Tries:- Lutui (20, 60), Baker (28, 45), Foster (50)
Conversions:- Pritchard (21, 29, 46, 51, 61)
Penalty Goals:- Pritchard 77)
Tries:- Goss (2, 55), Dancer (5), Hudson (75)
Conversions:- Holland (56), Goodfellow (76)
Penalty Goals:- Holland (40)
Half Time:- Ampthill 14 Chinnor 13
Referee:- Harry Walbaum
Man of the Match:- Joe Bercis, Ampthill