1stXV Clinical In Eight Tries To Two Defeat Of Plymouth Albion
Ampthill welcomed visitors Plymouth Albion for their first ever visit to Dillingham Park on a dry, sunny afternoon with a southerly breeze. Amps squad saw Matthew Collins rotate to tighthead prop while Kevin Barrett (scrum half), William Maisey (centre) and Jonathan Morgan all returned to the starting line up.
Amps went behind to a 2nd minute penalty goal but thereafter there was only one team in the game as three converted tries before half time followed by another five in the second half saw the most complete performance of the season.
Plymouth took the lead on 2 minutes after A’s were penalised at a ruck, with the benefit of the breeze fullback Matthew Shepherd’s kick sailed between the posts.
The hosts responded by taking the game to the visitors with the forwards making ground off rucks and the backs threatening line breaks but Albion’s defence held firm until the 14th minute when full back Karim Lynch finished a fine move wide on the right, right wing Elliot Clements-Hill converting the first of three successful kicks in the half.
On 25 minutes after much pressure inside the Plymouth 22 fly half Joseph Tarrant saw a gap and showed great strength to place the ball on the line under the posts.
Just 4 minutes later Captain Aleki Lutui, who played across the front row today, drove over from close range after multiple red zone phases.
The remainder of the half saw Ampthill disrupting Albion’s lineout and matching their vaunted scrummage, the visitors had their chances but great defence at the set piece and on the scramble kept them out until oranges.
The second half began with a bang with left wing Jonathan Morgan finishing a fine team try in the 41st minute to secure the try bonus point.
On 47 minutes the visitors strung together a series of phases ending with Number 8 Herbie Stupple crashing over wide on the right for an unconverted score.
Amps now produced one the best 20 minutes seen at Dillingham Park scoring four fine team tries through openside Matthew Burke (52), Clements-Hill (62), blindside Darrell Dyer (65) and replacement hooker Viliami Ma’asi (76), Clements-Hill adding three conversions. The pick of tries was Dyer’s with just about every player in the team involved at some point.
Openside Samuel Matavesi salvaged an unconverted consolation try for Albion with the last play of the game.
Head Coach Paul Turner commented “A superb team performance with forwards and backs both outstanding in attack and defence. Plymouth Albion are a fine side having won 13 of 14 games coming into this match but we were clinical in our execution.”
Tries:- Lynch (15), Tarrant (25), Lutui (29), Morgan (41), Burke (52) Clements-Hill (62), Dyer (65), Ma’asi (76)
Conversions:- Clements-Hill (15, 26, 30, 42, 63, 66)
Tries:- Stupple (47), Matavesi (80)
Penalties:- Shepherd (2)
Half Time:- 21-3
Referee:- Gareth Holsgrove
Star Man:- Karim Lynch