1stXV 45 Hull Ionians 17, Sat Dec 16, 2017, National 1
Ampthill welcomed Hull Ionians to Dillingham Park on a damp, cold winter afternoon following morning sunshine & frost.
Amps squad changes included Aleki Lutui moving to loosehead, Josh Taylor coming in at hooker & lock while in the backs Gavin Williams returns at scrum half, Josh Sharp rotates to fly half, Mickey Wilson and Peter Weightman come in at inside centre and while James Pritchard moves to full back. The bench sees Lewis Grinsall and Matt Collins provide front row cover, Will Allman backrow cover and Lawrence Rayner rotates.
A’s started well, taking the lead through right wing Pete Weightman on 5 minutes who finished in the corner after multiple red zone phases had stretched the visiting defence, full back James Pritchard’s conversion hitting the upright and deflecting wide.
The home side was dominating territory and possession but committed defence kept the scoreboard untroubled until the 21st minute when Pritchard crossed the line to the left of the posts after centre Sam Hanks had broken the line, Skippy adding the extras to his own try.
6 minutes later Hanks scored the first of a brace after breaking tackles to cross the line wide on the left, Pritchard nailing the touchline conversion.
Gradually Ionians came into the game and had their best period in the last five minutes of the half, pounding the hosts line but the maroon & gold line held firm leaving the score 19-0 at oranges.
The second half began as the first had finished with the visitors pressing for a score which came in the 44th minute through scrum half Isaac Green who converted his own try.
Ampthill responded by scoring four more trys through eighthman Maama Molitika (47), Hanks (50), left wing Sam Baker (66) and replacement fly half Lawrence Rayner (73) with Pritchard missing the conversion for only Baker’s which was the pick of the tries with backs & forwards combing to move the ball the length of the field.
Hull Ionians were organised and committed throughout but they had no answer to Amps power in the first half and offloading game in the second, they did score two unconverted tries in the second half through replacement wing Sam Wilson (59, 78).
The set piece was prettry even but A’s had much the better of the loose exchanges while the home side’s backs cut loose in the second half.
Head Coach Paul Turner comments “We needed a response to the result last week and we got one, there was still too many errors but our back row were outstanding against a well organised team.”
Tries:- Weightman (5), Pritchard (21), Hanks (27, 50), Molitika (47), Baker (66), Rayner (73)
Conversions:- Pritchard (22, 28, 48, 51, 73)
Tries:- Green (44), Wilson (59, 79)
Conversions:- Green (45)
Half Time:- Ampthill 19 Hull Ionians 7
Man of the Match:- Joint – Billy Johnson & Joe Bercis (both Ampthill)
Referee:- Dr Jonathan Cook
Attendance :- 207