Match Reort: 1st XV 36 v 44 Hartpury

A stunning second half comeback helped Hartpury condemn Ampthill to their first home defeat since early February, and in the process leapfrogged the Mob in the RFU Championship table.

Hartpury DoR John Barnes said “We spoke at half time about getting a bit of control and territory, and try and play a bit more with the ball, and we certainly did that. A lot of the great games we’ve had with Ampthill have gone down to the last few minutes so we’re glad come out on the right side of it”.

The Mob scored the opening try of the match after just 3 minutes. A brilliant pass from Brandon Jackson set Tobias Elliott away, who dotted the ball underneath the posts untouched. Following a Gwyn Parks conversion, Ampthill lead 7-0 after 4 minutes.

Hartpury levelled the match in the 21st minute, after they were gifted a try, with Ampthill full-back Tom Bacon passing the ball straight to his opposite number Alex Morgan, who then galloped in the space, before diving across the try line.

The response from the hosts was almost immediate, with Charlie Bracken applying the finish in the 24th minute, following a superb line break and pass inside from Samson Adejimi.

The Mob added a further two tries before the half time break, securing the try bonus point in the process. Tobias Elliott burst through two tackles to stroll across the try line with ease, securing his second try of the afternoon and his wing partner Jackson had a simple run in himself just 5 minutes later, and following a fourth successful conversion from Gwyn Parks, Ampthill lead 28-7 after 34 minutes.

Hartpury reduced the arrears on the stroke of half time, with Jon Benz-Salomon forcing his way underneath the Ampthill defence to ground the ball from close range.

The visitors started the second half well, scoring two tries before the 50th minute, to leave them trailing by just 4 points. A dominant rolling maul was finished off by Harry Short in the 45th minute, and less than 5 minutes later, Robbie Smith dived across the whitewash following an exceptional passage of play.

Despite a Gwyn Parks penalty in the 52nd minute, Hartpury scored their 5th try of the afternoon just 4 minutes later. Replacement hooker Ethan Hunt dived across the try line following another rolling maul, and after a successful conversion from Harry Bazelgette, the match was level at 31-31.

Ampthill retook the lead again in 59th minute, after a marvellous finish from Brandon Jackson in the corner, but the first miss of the day from Gwyn Parks meant the Mob only held a 5 point lead.

The visitors took the lead for the first time in the 72nd minute, with Alex Morgan scoring his second try of the game after the ball was spread out wide following a rolling maul. After a successful conversion, Bazelgette nailed two long distance penalties to rubber stamp the win.

Speaking after the loss Ampthill Head Coach Paul Turner said “In the end we got what we deserved. From a winning position our ability to control our own ball was negligent and it got us into lots of trouble. We got back in front but once again made far too many errors which Hartpury duly punished. They deserved their win.”


Tries: Elliott 3, 27; Bracken 24, Jackson 32, 59
Conversions: Parks 4, 25, 28, 33
Pens: Parks 52


Tries: Morgan 21, 72 ; Aristot Benz-Salamon 40, Short 45, Robbie Smith 48, Hunt 56
Conversions: Bazelgette 22, 49, 57, 73
Pens: Bazelgette 78, 80

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