It’s tough but enjoyable to be a Jet these days. As a once a week training team playing National League 2nd teams we are finding the step up a real challenge. After being unbeaten in league rugby for the 2 previous seasons it is a bit of a culture shock.
Only 2 of our starting pack could make training this week and it is perhaps no surprise that all 3 Ampthill tries and conversions came from lads who were able to train.
Looking stylish in their new multi sponsored shirts, Ampthill got off to a perfect start against second-placed and physically imposing looking Bury. A few minutes of great defence led to a monster hit by Jack Saunders. Josh Lockey responded quickest to the loose ball popping it to scrum half Isaac Jabri. Still in his own half ‘Jabs’ set off on a run at the Bury defenders, sidestepping and accelerating to under the posts, a fine try by the No 9 (shirt sponsor Wardown Engineering Ltd) and a man of the match performance. Simple conversion for Ampthills 12 Will Norford (shirt sponsor RD Designs).
I think this early try just made Bury mad and they came back with a catch and drive try by their big pack, successfully converted for 7-7. Worse was to come from when a poor Ampthill kick led to Bury’s small but elusive 15 counter-attacking from deep. Ampthill fell off a few tackles and conceded a second try which was duly converted fora 14-7 half time lead.
Second half started well with the Jets on the attack but a dropped ball as Ampthill attacked led to two kicks and length of the field score for Bury. Now in the ascendancy, Bury turned the screw and scored several times for a 41-7 lead. By now I was really regretting making them angry by scoring first!
With a squad all under 30 including 4 teenagers and two lads making their season debut, it would have been easy for the Jets to capitulate but the last 15 minutes was all Ampthill. Wingers Ethan and Josh both showed great pace with No 14 Josh (shirt sponsor Webb and Company) scoring the second Ampthill try, again converted by sharpshooter Norford.
Then a bit of pure magic, Cipriani style, when Ampthill’s replacement fly-half Charlie put in an audacious chip with speedster No 11 Ethan (shirt sponsor CH & PM) collecting the ball for the try of the match. Two teenagers combining to demonstrate the quality being produced by Tom Grays academy coaching team.
The Jets continued to press the Bury defence, looking for the bonus point 4th try and camped on the line but it wasn’t to be and the ref blew for time.
Encouraging signs for the Jets and they are showing that they are capable of competing in this league. We’re away at Ealing next Saturday where the rumour mill is that we will have a special guest player by an old Ampthill Mini and Youth player who has been playing overseas for the past 7 years! Answers on a postcard please?