A game that was neck and neck throughout the whole 80 minutes ended frustratingly for Ampthill as they miss out 38-35 to Bedford in their last pre-season game at Goldington Road! Ampthill Academy player Will Roberts reports!
Tom Hudson showed Ampthill’s intentions from the beginning, dummying past former A’s fly-half Louis Grimoldby and breaking the line before offloading expertly to Ewan Fenley who would’ve been in the corner if it wasn’t for a try-saving tackle from the Blues skipper Rich Lane.
However, the pressure got to Bedford as they conceded the first score. Lovely hands from Josh Skelcey and good support from Joe-Luca Smith saw the fullback cross over the whitewash to draw first blood of the game. The score was then converted by Bennett in front of the posts.
The reply was soon to follow from Bedford Blues after young, electric scrum-half Jake Garside danced his way around Ampthill’s outside backs before dotting down underneath the sticks. Grimoldby converted to bring the scores level.
Bedford then doubled down on their lead after strong series of carries from the Blues pack and ill-discipline from Ampthill. Iyogun crossing 5 minutes from the halftime whistle. Grimoldby again added the extras.
At the stroke of halftime, Ampthill levelled the game through the dazzling feet of Ben Cambriani who offloaded to Joe-Luca Smith who scored his second in 40 minutes. Bennett tied the scores at the half, 14 points apiece.
Bedford start the second half better than the A’s and Jake Garside once again found himself dotting down with only a few minutes into the second half. But Ampthill was soon to respond. Great work again from the forwards allowed Billy Harding to add his name to the score sheet as he found himself on the end of a strong driving maul.
A theme then started to occur as another Blues back, Pat Tapley, scored before Carl Burgess hits a good line for Ampthill and a Bennett conversion brought the scores level 28-28.
With 10 minutes to go, Ampthill looked to be in control of the game. Great work once again from the pack meant that captain Paddy Ryan could help give Ampthill the lead for the first time since the opening 20.
However, it didn’t last long. Ill-discipline from Ampthill gave Bedford a penalty try off the back of repeated scrum infringements before another penalty went the Blues way just inside the Ampthill half which fly-half Will Maisey capitalised on bringing the score to 38-35 with only a few minutes to go.
As Bedford tried to close off the game, they themselves got caught lacking at the breakdown which lead to a kickable penalty to the As with the clock in the red. Ampthill decided to go for broke and kick to the corner but a strong maul defence from Bedford nullified the Ampthill threat as they petered out into touch and left Bedford with the spoils in their backyard.
A scrappy game, with a scrappy ending and lots to draw upon for both teams as they prepare for their upcoming Championship seasons.
MOTM: Joe-Luca Smith