Outstanding Second Half Eclipses Albion
Plymouth Albion arrived at a damp, overcast Dillingham Park with gentle breeze blowing in favour of the visitors in the first half.
Typically, games between the two sides are close, usually less than one score determining the winner, the first half followed this pattern, the second did not!
The visitors came out of the blocks firing taking the lead in the 6th minute with an unconverted try through blindside flanker John Kelly after good work from the forwards in the red zone.
Ampthill responded with a 16th minute catch & drive try from hooker Ollie Walliker, also unconverted.
The sides then exchanged penalty goals, Ampthill fly half Josh Sharp’s goal on 26 minutes cancelled out by one from Albion wing Matthew Shepherd in the 30th minute.
As half time approached Amps were camped deep in the visitors 22, first receiving a yellow card for bringing down a maul and then then conceding a penalty try for a deliberate knock on leaving the score 15-8 at oranges.
Plymouth tied the score on 41 minutes with another penalty try after A’s were penalised for a maul offence.
Given the highly competitive nature of the game most spectators would have taken long odds on the home side scoring 33 unanswered points in the remaining 39 minutes but that’s what happened.
First, straight from the kick off, a clearing kick on the Albion 22 was charged down by replacement flanker Will Allman who won the race to touch down the unconverted try.
Then after a period of to and fro in mid-field the hosts replacement full back Mikey Waters finished a fine backs try on 54 minutes, Sharp adding the extras.
Just 4 minutes later, right wing Spencer Sutherland was set free by scrum half Kevin Barrett to to touch down behind the posts, Sharp again successful with the conversion.
The 62nd & 66th minutes saw left wing Sam Baker score a brace of tries after good work from the backs and some individual skills, both converted by Waters.
Ampthill crossed the line twice more as the visitors discipline escaped them but both tries were disallowed for knock ons prior to the touch down.
The proverbial game of two halves saw a very competitive first followed by a one sided second, particularly the last quarter when fitness appeared to be an issue for the large Plymouth pack.
Head Coach Paul Turner commented “This was a good win against an in form & confident Plymouth. At 20-15 early in the second half we raised our level producing some of the best football of the season. I was delighted with the energy and skill, the performance making up for the disappointment at Esher a week earlier. This result sets us up nicely for the big game away at Blackheath next week.”
Tries:- Walliker (16), Allman (42), Waters (54), Sutherland (58), Baker (62, 66)
Conversions:- Sharp (55, 59), Waters (63, 67)
Penalty Goals:- Sharp (28)
Penalty Tries:- (38)
Tries:- Kelly (6)
Penalty Goals:- Shepherd (30)
Penalty Tries:- (41)
Half Time:- Ampthill 15 Plymouth Albion 8
Referee:- James Clarke
Man of the Match:- Henri Williams, Ampthill