In front of a very good crowd, Bedford Athletic Rugby Club played host on Sunday to the final of the under 14’s East Midlands Cup between Ampthill and Luton.
The game started very equally with neither side making too much headway as the magnitude of the day was obviously weighing very heavily on all minds.
Luton however were first to make a breakthrough on the back of a penalty conceded by Ampthill on the halfway line. A very good kick to touch gave Luton a lineout around the 5 metre mark which they took very well and moved the maul over the try line despite a good defensive effort by Ampthill. The conversion was short putting the score at Luton 5, Ampthill 0.
Ampthill didn’t let their heads drop however and were quick to put the pressure back on Luton with several good phases of attack against a strong Luton defence.
The last play of the first half was the turning point seeing Ampthill’s James Litchfield pick the ball from the back of a ruck and run down the blindside breaking through multiple tackles to get Ampthill off the mark in the corner. Rafe Witheat then narrowly missed what was a difficult kick leaving it all square at 5-5 at half time.
Ampthill carried the momentum from the late try into the second half and restarted with no less grit and determination. Ampthill’s second try came soon after with a scrum on Luton’s 22 picked by James Litchfield from the back and charging over the line. Rafe Witheat then converted to put Ampthill 12-5 up.
Ampthill then continued to show an outstanding display of defence and were holding Luton to their own half until Luton found a gap shipping the ball to their inside center who broke through our line and the try for Luton looked on, William Wilkins and Rafe Witheat however put on a fantastic turn of pace for a double tackle into touch.
Ampthill then retained possession until the clock ran out and they kicked the ball into touch to end the game and secure the cup.
Every member of the squad gave everything they had and thoroughly deserved the win.
It was also great to see several members of the Ampthill 1st XV squad and head coach, Paul Turner had made the trip to watch.