Ampthill U15’s returned to Dillingham Park for an EML fixture against their old foes Olney in perfect conditions for rugby on Remembrance Sunday. Players, coaches and parents all observed two minutes silence at 11am to pay their respects.
The game started well for Ampthill with plenty of early possession & territory, they opened the scoring with a well worked try from a ‘training ground’ line-out move with skipper Archie Barrett going over, this really was proof of all the hard work on the training ground coming to fruition, so much so it even brought a (rare) smile to the face of forwards coach Josh Stone! Harrison Wade superbly put the conversion over the posts from a tight angle to increase the score to 7-0. Olney quickly struck back with a breakaway try from their winger following a breakdown, all to play for at 7-5 to A’s.
Ampthill increased the score following some great footwork from winger Josh Kerr scoring in the corner to increase their lead to 12-5, Olney responded again with a well worked team try with the ball moving through their back line & the try being scored in the corner. Ampthill went into the halftime break with a slender 12-10 advantage, a few carefully chosen words of inspiration from head coach Paul Allen and the boys were all set for the second half playing down the hill.
Ampthill again started the half well with plenty of early possession and were camped in the Olney twenty-two, after a few phases of play Barrett scored his second try with a ‘pick and go’ close to the Olney line. Following this, Olney then took the initiative with the vast majority of the play for the rest of the second half and only a fantastic defensive display from Ampthill kept Olney out as they got closer & closer to the Ampthill try line, Ampthill celebrated at the final whistle with a really hard-fought & well-earned 17-10 victory.
Sam Ferrari duly picked up the man of the match award following a series of trade mark tackles, but it was great to see the whole team being prepared to put in such a strong defensive display against strong opponents