In what turned out to be the biggest day in Ampthill RUFC’s history, our Champions elect finished the season in fine style with a 52 v 20 win on the road at Loughborough University.
The A’s started well, controlling territory and possession despite playing into a very strong wind. Maama Molitika started the scoring after multiple phases he crashed over to the left of the posts converted by A’s and Blues legend James Pritchard playing in his final game of senior rugby. Pritch you have been a star and best of luck in the next stage of your life and your return to Australia.
The Students responded with a try of their own after 20 mins to leave the scores at 5 v 7.
The front row decided to take control of the game with a strong carry from Matt Colllins to crash over and again converted by Pritchard. The A’s were awarded a penalty that was kicked to the corner and Aleki Lutui added another score from the stock catch and drive this time converted by Sharp as Pritchard was off having running repairs. Lutui has bagged 15 try’s this season which shows how effective the Maroon and Gold driving lineout has become.
Perhaps the try of the game and the score that took the A’s to the Green King IPA Championship started with replacement full back Mickey Waters probing the right hand side of the Students defence. The ball was recycled through four sets of hands to put Joe Bercis in on the left hand corner and the celebrations could begin. Sharp missing the conversion and the scores stood at 5 v 26 at oranges.
The game to all intents and purposes was over as a contest but both sides exchanged try’s with the Students scoring three further try’s and Ampthill scoring four to leave the final scores at Loughborough 20 v 52 Ampthill and confirmation that the mighty A’s are National 1 Champions and we are heading to the Green King IPA Championship for the first time in our history.
After the game, Ampthill’s Director of Rugby Mark Lavery had this to say:
“I would like to thank Paul Turner and his coaching team for a truly fantastic effort in winning National 1 for the first time in our history.
Team Manager Ian Bremner and Head of Medical Michael Dwyer for all there help and assistance behind the scenes which without the unseen work we wouldn’t have won the league.
Thank you to all our supporters who have stuck with us through good and not so good times and especially those who made the Loughborough game feel like we were at Dillingham Park.
Last but not least the outstanding efforts from our first team squad who have not only won National 1 but with the 1881s winning Zoo 1 as well it’s yet another historic result and the first time we have done this in our history.
As the curtain comes down on the season our four senior teams have all won their respective divisions and once more I find myself wondering how we can ever better that, but I have thought that for the last five seasons so I’m sure we will find a way.
Hope to see you all at the Club Dinner Dance when we can celebrate what has been the best season in the Ampthill and District Rugby Clubs History.”
Image – Iain Frankish, Actuance Photography