Ampthill (5 tries) Go Down To Streetwise Jersey (7 tries)
In total contrast to Hartpury, defence appeared optional for both sides as the crowd were treated to a 12 try festival.
Ampthill began brilliantly, with fly half Samuel Costelow charging down a clearance kick from his opposite number Dyer, then hacking on for open side Joe Bercis to dive on the ball under the posts for a 1st minute try converted by Costelow.
The next 20 minutes were dominated by the visitors ruthlessly capitalising on Ampthill errors to score 3 tries, through open side Bainbridge (5 minutes), hooker Harris (11) and a penalty try (20) all coming from penalties kicked into the home 22 followed by lineout catch & drives which Amps struggled to contain. The latter also resulted in a yellow card to A’s Dave Ward. Dyer converting both opportunities
As somehow seems to happen often, going down a man was the catalyst for the home side to raise their game. First, Costelow missed a 28th minute 48m penalty attempt before converting another on 31 minutes. Then, after a period of concerted pressure by the hosts lock forward Jon Ipoku finished from 5m out on 37 minutes, Costelow adding the extras.
The half time whistle came leaving the score 17-19 with Ampthill in the ascendancy.
The second half began with a bang as another penalty, lineout, catch & drive brought the bonus point try for the visitors Harris, Dyer’s conversion bisecting the posts. Almost immediately, with Amps on the attack, the home spectators let out a roar as a very obvious high tackle on Amps Costelow was ignored by the officials, the resulting interception, 60m scamper by Jerseys right wing Morgan and conversion by Dyer adding to the crowd’s discontent.
Trailing by 17 pts just 10 minutes into the second half A’s once again responded well, Bercis scoring his 2nd try from the red zone before the hosts try-of-the-season so far was created by the home backs with quick passing, a chip from centre Obatoyinbo recovered by wing Baker and great support from Grimoldby saw the latter under the posts, Costelow converting both.
At 60 minutes played and the score 31-33 the game was again in the balance but another penalty try given in the 65th minute, on the advice of the same assistant referee, gave some breathing space to the visitors.
The 67th minute saw Ampthill on the attack and deep in the visitors 22 but a turnover saw the visitors move the ball from left to right and break out of defence for a length-of-the-field backs try well converted by Dyer.
Amps still weren’t done scoring another fine backs try as Costelow ghosted through the visiting defence to score and convert a 74th minute try. Just a couple of minutes later, A’s again broke out of defence with great support and inter passing leading to another try scoring opportunity but good defence saw the move break down within 5m of the Jersey line.
Both sides had chances in the remaining time before the referee blew for no side leaving the score 38-47 and the try count 5-7 in the visitors favour.
Both coaches will have much to work on defensively, Jersey’s maul was certainly the most effective yet seen this season.
Ampthill Head Coach Paul Turner commented “I was proud of how hard we fought against a well organised and experienced Jersey side, however, this was a harsh lesson, give penalties away against this standard of opposition and we will be punished. There were some excellent performances with Costelow, Steward and Grimoldby all excelling and some fine back play. There is, however, a great deal to work on.”
Jersey Assistant Coach Neil Tunnah commented “Interesting game, having established control, particularly in the set piece, Ampthill found a way back into the game and put us under pressure. They deserve a lot of credit, especially in their defense around the tackle area where they won a number of penalties and turnovers to keep themselves in the game. I was pleased with our forward performance and we enjoyed our first visit to this friendly and community based club, the crowd were fantastic and it’s clear that their excellent coaching team and some standout players will see them kick on in the Championship.”
Half time:- Ampthill 17 Jersey 19
Referee:- Luke Pearce
Man of the Match:- Joshua Bainbridge, Jersey
Tries: Bercis (1, 54), Ipoku (37), Grimoldby (57), Costelow (74)
Cons: Costelow (2, 38, 55, 58, 75)
Pens: Costelow (31)
Tries: Bainbridge (5), Harris (11, 46), Penalty Try (20, 65), Morgan (49), Homer (67)
Cons: Dyer (12, 47, 50, 68)
Lineouts Won 7 10
Lineouts Lost 3 2
Scrums Won 5 5
Scrums Lost 2 0
Penalties Conceded 12 14
Yellow Cards 2 0
Steward 7 (Lynch 79), Gillespie 7, Obatoyinbo 8, Grimoldby 7, Baker 7 (Asiedu 79), Costelow 8, Barrett 7 (FukoFuka 57, 7), Tonga’huiha 7 (Christie 55, 7), Ward 7 (Lutui 55, 7), Collins 7 (Pupuma 46, 7), Kpoku 8, Kerry 7 (Williams 55, 7), Blackmore 7 (Molitika 38, 7), Bercis 8 (Ward 70), Hudson 7
Slowik 7, Morgan 7, Spencer 7, Newey 7 (Stapley 75), Owen 7, Dyer 8, Jones 7 (Homer 45, 7), Godfrey 7 (Morley 65, 7), Harris 7 (Dolly 65, 7), Clarey 7 (Atalifo 65, 7), Beckett 7 (Hatherell 56, 7), Bartle 7, Joyce 7 (Upfield 56, 7), Bainbridge 8 (Argyle 72), Venter 7