Cambridge 10 1stXV 20, Sat Dec 10 2016, Match Report
Ampthill travelled to Cambridge on an overcast, windless, drizzly day which gradually deteriorated to heavy rain making for tricky underfoot conditions and a slippery ball. Amps squad saw a number of changes with prop Matt Collins and flanker Loti Molitika rotating to the starting XV from the bench, centre Orisi Nawaqaliva make his starting debut, hooker James Fish return to the bench while prop Ross Davies and flanker Matt Burke rotated to the bench.
A competitive game with two big packs facing off throughout and two organised defenses mostly shutting down their oppositions attack. Both sides scored from catch & drives while the other try scoring opportunities came largely from handling errors.
The visitors took the lead with a 20th minute penalty try converted by fly half Joe Tarrant after sustained pressure in the home 22.
Late in the first half Ampthill lost Captain Ben Gulliver to the sin bin after he was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on but rather than suffer from a being a man down Amps extended their lead with an unconverted try from wing Sam Baker and a Tarrant penalty goal before the hosts made their extra man count with an unconverted try of their own leaving the score 5-15 at oranges.
Now being played in heavy rain the second half saw A’s spurn penalty goal and red zone opportunities before Cambridge reduced the deficit to 5 points with a try wide on the left.
The last 15 minutes saw both sides with point scoring chances but defenses were generally secure until the last couple of minutes when the visitors were camped in the home 22 with a succession of 5m scrums finally producing an unconverted try on the blindside by lock Gulliver to prevent even a consolation bonus point for the hosts.
This was a game for forward connoisseurs rather than back voyeurs but none the less represented the fifth consecutive win for Ampthill.
Next week Amps host Old Albanian at Dillingham Park with a 14:00 kick off.