Ampthill Denied By Last Minute Penalty Goal
Ampthill took the field at the Richmond Athletic Ground marking another historic day playing their first away match in the Green King IPA Championship.
The starting lineup saw 3 changes with blind side Will Allman and Number 8 Sam Hudson come into the back row while Ruben Bird-Tullock started at inside centre in the backs. The bench included debuts for dual registered Sam Costelow (Wasps) & Cameron Anderson (Tigers).
Scottish kicked off with A’s working their way into the hosts half but a loose kick saw the hosts return it with interest allowing Scottish to camp in the visitors 22. Repeated kicks to the corner were repulsed by stoic Amps defence with the forward pack withstanding everything the hosts threw at them.
A’s worked their way out of the danger zone finding themselves in the home sides half. After a number of phases Scottish infringed at a breakdown and the ensuing penalty goal was well struck by visiting fly half Louis Grimoldby on 12 minutes.
The hosts responded with vigour forcing Ampthill on the back foot, however, the Amps defence held out. Back in the home sides half A’s looked dangerous when in possession and in the 36th minute they were awarded another penalty, Grimoldby making no mistake to secure a 0-6 lead.
Scottish responded again but the visitors forward pack coped with everything that was thrown at them with Ampthill’s flankers Allman and open side Joe Bercis seeming everywhere. Given the result in Japan earlier in the day the comparison with the Kamikaze Kids may not have been too far fetched.
As the half closed Scottish were awarded a penalty, choosing to take the points on this occasion fly half Harry Shepard’s attempt sailed between the posts to leave the score 3-6 at oranges.
The second half continued in the same manner with Amps scrum putting significant pressure on the hosts eight while evergreen props Aleki Lutui and Soane Tonga’uiha bossed the tight.
The home side were in the ascendancy, however, for much of the next 20 minutes but A’s defence nullified their best efforts with Scottish never looking likely to score again.
After some kick tennis exchanges which generally appeared see the visitors come out better off Ampthill continued to frustrate Scottish.
On 70 minutes Amps were awarded a penalty but A’s replacement fly half Costelow sent the ball to the right of the posts.
Visitors centre Ruben Bird-Tullock had carried hard all day while both he and Saints team mate wing Josh Gillespie looked particularly strong in defence, they’d played a significant part in what looked like a fairy tale win on the road..
Sadly for the visiting supporters there was a last minute twist when Scottish were awarded a penalty, successfully kicked by replacement fly half Dan Barnes leave the scores level at no side.
Head coach Paul Turner commented “I think the whole playing group took a step forward and whilst we had a load of positives from today’s game we should have won! We need to be smarter to put games like this away.
We have a massive match at home next week at Dillingham Park and I hope our supporters will really get behind the boys.”
15 Luke Hibberd, 14 Harry Barlow, 13 Elliott Creed, 12 Matt Gordon, 11 Jonas Mikalcius, 10 Harry Sheppar, 9 Josh Barton, 1 Jonny Harris, 2 Billy Harding, 3 Kyle Whyte, 4 Matas Jurevicius, 5 Luke Frost, 6 Matt Eliet, 7Lewis Wynne ©, 8 Mark Bright
16 James Malcolm, 17 Jordan Brodley, 18 Phil Cringle, 19 Hugh Tizard, 20 James Tyas, 21 Charlie Gowling, 22 Dan Barnes, 23 Bobby Beattie
15 Lynch, Karim, 14 Gillespie, Josh (dr Saints), 13 Sage, Jarryd, 12 Bird-Tullock, Rueben (dr Saints), 11 Baker, Sam, 10 Grimoldby, Louis, 9 Barrett, Kevin, 1 Tonga’huiha, Soane, 2 Ward, Dave (c), 3 Lutui, Aleki, 4 Kpoku, Jon, 5 Kerry, Shay, 6 Allman, Will, 7 Bercis, Joe
8 Hudson, Sam
16 Blackmore, Syd, 17 Collins, Matt, 18 Christie, Ben, 19 Johnson, Billy, 20 Molitika, Maama, 21 Veenendaal, Darryl, 22 Costelow, Sam (dr Wasps), 23 Anderson, Cameron (dr Tigers)