5thXV 2014-15 Season Review

A Debut Season To Remember, 13 Games, 5 Wins, 73 Players

This was the first season for the new 5th team and the whole club should be proud that, as a town of approximately 6,000 people, we are able to put out five adult teams without forfeiting a single game when other local clubs regularly call off 2nd and 3rd team fixtures due to lack of numbers. In fact across the season a total of 73 different players donned the ‘traditional’ shirts kindly sponsored by Jez Procter (The Wellness Hub) and Matt Hague (Microlise).

5thXV 2014 - 2015
5thXV 2014 – 2015

The season started with a bit of a shock with both Bletchley and Milton Keynes fielding unusually strong 3rd teams on days that neither their 1st nor 2nd teams had games. Despite us all donning dresses at Bletchley to celebrate the first ever 5th Team game we unfortunately suffered 38-0 and 54-0 hammerings respectively.

2014-15 5thXV
2014-15 5thXV Ready For Post Game Action

I found myself repeatedly telling battered players that it won’t always be like this and in our third match this was proven true when we registered our first win 41-14 away to Olney 3rds. We went from strength to strength, winning more games including an impressive 59-17 win over Daventry 3rds and running very close in an away game to eventual merit table winners Winslow 1st Team (yes they only have one team but I like to call them that).

Probably the highlights for me were Bedford Swifts and the home revenge against Bletchley. Firstly, when we had a league game called off, we went into the pool and ended up playing Bedford Swift 2nds away. We went to Bedford with only 16 players and came out 25-21 winners against a team that had so far won 12 of 13 games. Then Bletchley returned to play us after stitching us up in the first game of the season, we needed to win to guarantee third place with one game to go and they needed to win to set up a final game shoot out with Winslow for the league title. We dominated a tough game and won 41-19.

The aim of the 5th Team was to bring rugby to all that wanted it in the true sense of Ampthill Community Rugby Club. Utilising 73 players ranging from 17 to 62 years old shows that we achieved this goal. We had Under 18 players making the transition to adult rugby alongside experience players that have played for the club for years.

Leigh Clark
Leigh Clark

We had Vets that didn’t think they could play this regularly turning up week in week out.We even encouraged some Ampthill legends to dust off their boots including past first team captains Leigh Clark and John Wilkinson not to mention people I played alongside in my first ever Ampthill game 13 years ago (Rob Hill, Gareth Williams and Gez Ingerfield). We also had three different father and son combinations on the pitch during the season (Wilkinsons, Breezes, and Troianos).

Thank you all and please contact me if this has inspired you to play next season. My details are on the club website.

Richard Mardle

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