1stXV Secure Bonus Point Win Away At Fylde
Fylde 5 1stXV 26
Ampthill travelled to Lancashire to find their usual warm welcome and damp conditions. Amps squad saw numerous changes, up front Jack Culverhouse returned at prop, Josh Taylor rotated to hooker while Josh Walker returned at lock. In the backs Kevin Barrett & Josh Sharp came in to scrum & fly half respectively while the bench saw Matt Dawson come in to cover hooker, Matt Collins prop and Stef Liebenberg scrum half.
Woodlands is always a tough place to visit but Amps produced a professional and diligent performance which was in stark contrast to those produced on recent road trips.
Amps controlled the first half scoring three converted tries however the second period was a much close affair with honours even as A’s bonus point securing try was matched by a late consolation try for Fylde.
For once the visitors appeared to have actually got off the bus early as they dominated territory and possession from the kick off. After multiple phases from forwards and backs that didn’t give the hosts a sniff of possession fly half Josh Sharp ghosted through to open the scoring on 10 minutes with full back James Pritchard converting.
With much of the play with the maroon and gold a penalty kick to the corner led to a 19th minute Ampthill catch and drive, openside flanker Joe Bercis coming up with the ball after the pack drove oven the line for a try again converted by Pritchard.
The home side were struggling to control Amps in the tight at this point and after multiple scrum penalties the referee decided it was time for Fylde’s substitute tight head prop to take a 10 minute rest.
A man up an A’s set piece move from a scrum saw wing Sam Baker cross for a 36th minute try, Pritchard’s somewhat unorthodox conversion leaving the score 0-21 at oranges.
Fylde’s half time team talk must of been interesting as they came out fired up making the visitors work much harder for anything they got which wasn’t much as the home side were in the ascendancy for much of the period.
Against the run of play replacement flanker Syd Blackmore, playing his second comeback game following 3 months out with injury scored Ampthill’s fourth, this time unconverted try in the 51st minute.
The hosts had Amps on the back foot for much of the remainder of the game, their young and energetic attack regularly stretching A’s defence. On 66 minutes the visitors were reduced to 14 players after the referee adjudged the team to have transgressed once too often.
Fylde took advantage with a 74th minute try from the forwards with replacement flanker Ben Gregory being credited with the unconverted try to leave the score 5-26 at no side.
Director of Rugby Mark Lavery comments “Ampthill delivered a professional performance against a good Fylde side who never gave up and were true to their tradition of playing from anywhere.”
Try:- Gregory (74)
Tries:- Sharp (10), Bercis (19), Baker (37), Blackmore (51)
Conversions:- Pritchard (11, 20, 38)