1stXV 45 Esher 5, Sat Sep 23 2017, National 1
Ampthill welcomed Esher to Dillingham Park for their 2nd home fixture of 2017 with some changes to the squad that lost so narrowly at Blackheath 7 days earlier.
Up front Ben Gulliver started at lock, Simon Pitfield at blindside with Syd Blackmore at eighthman, in the backs Will Goodge returned at inside centre while Sam Hanks moved to his outside while the bench saw Chris West, Ben Calder & Josh Sharp make their season debuts.
Amps controlled the game in the first half playing against a howling gale while the second half saw A’s use the elements intelligently, repeatedly forcing the visitors to retreat with fine kicking from hand.
The hosts scored 3 tries through eighthman Syd Blackmore (26) and a brace from wing Sam Baker (33, 39) in the second quarter to lead 19-0 at oranges. The second half saw Blackmore (42, 63) add another 2 tries securing him the possibly unwanted privilege of buying a round on a ‘social’ night. Fly half Elliot Reeder (60) and debutant Chris West (69) completing the second half try fest. Wing James Pritchard added 5 conversions while Esher’s consolation score came in the 47th minute.
This was a fine performance from the team which sets them up nicely for the tough local derby away at Bishops Stortford next week.
Director of Rugby Mark Lavery commented “A pleasing performance, particularly in the first half playing against the elements, with our back row outstanding. Centre Sam Hanks had his best game in maroon & gold breaking the line on numerous occasions while our game management in the second half was excellent.”
Tries:- Blackmore (26, 42, 63), Baker (33, 39), Reeder (60), West (69)
Conversions:- Pritchard (27, 34, 43, 64, 70)
Tries:- Saunders (47)