Match Report: Ealing 57 v 14 1st XV

Ampthill travelled to league leaders Ealing Trailfinders with the players under no illusions as to what lay in store for them.  “we’re well aware of whats coming this weekend after the home result – they going to be gunning for us but its going to be a really good occasion on Saturday” said Captain Morgan Strong ahead of the game.

The visitors were behind within two minutes of Sara Cox whistle! An early penalty on the 22 kicked to the corner. The Mob stole the lineout but Charlies Brackens kick from the try-line was charged done by the Ealing hooker who dived on the ball to score. 5 – 0

Ealing doubled their lead four minutes later. Playing with advantage across the Ampthill 22 the Winger hit a hard line to break through and score left of posts. 12 – 0

Ampthill reduced the arrears with their first attack of the game. Brandon Jackson broke down the left, cut inside and found Tom Bacon on his shoulder who escaped a defender to score against the post. An easy conversion for Josh Barton 12 – 7

From the restart the Mob applied the pressure again and found themselves in a position to score but couldn’t beat the Ealing maul defence, and from the turnover the hosts scored their third with a few quick phases finished by Willis dancing through the Ampthill defence. 19-7 and twenty minutes played.

A defensive lapse in midfield allowed Ealing to secure the bonus point on 28 minutes – a line break forty metres out scored under the posts and the conversion the final score of the first half. 26-7 at the break.

The Mob came out firing for the second half and scored within two minutes of the restart. The Ampthill backs carried hard from their own half and again Brandon Jackson broke down the left. He fed Charllie Bracken who rolled his defender in the 22 to score under the posts. 26-14

If Ampthill were to get something from the game the next score was crucial. However it was the hosts who scored. A penalty kicked to the corner and the maul drove over. 33-14.

A few minutes later and Ealing again exploited their dominance from the line out and another rolling maul try. 38-14 with twenty to play.

The hosts had their tails up and the game was being played entirely in the Ampthill half. Another three tries in the final fifteen minutes, including a period where Ampthill played with only 13 men due to injuries re-enforced the hosts dominance. Final score 57-14.

Following the game, Head Coach Paul Turner said A really disappointing result today after a good run of games. At this level you must be able to clear your lines on a regular basis. We didn’t and got punished early and then had to chase the game. You often get what you deserve.

We still felt that we could get ourselves back in the game at half time with the score at 26-7 but after reducing the score to 26-14 we didn’t capitalise on a couple of chances we created and once Ealing got control of the game they sat on top us – it’s what the good sides do.

I still can’t fault the effort from our players today but we need to get smarter and control our own ball better. We now need to dust ourselves down and reset for our final home game against Hartpury next week.

Ampthill have their final home game of the 2023-24 Championship season next Saturday when Hartpury University visit The Olney Field. Tickets and Lunches are available to book.

Ampthill Points Scorers:

Tries: Bacon 12, Bracken 42
Conv: Barton 13, 43
Pens: n/a

Starting XV:

15. Tom Bacon 14. Tobias Elliot 13. Oli Morris 12. Fraser Strachan 11. Brandon Jackson 10. Josh Barton 9. Charlie Bracken 1. James Flynn 2. Samson Adejimi 3. Harvey Beaton 4. Olamide Sodeke 5. Iwan Shenton 6. Nathan Michelow 7. Izzy Moore-Aiono 8. Morgan Strong (c)


16.Ben Chapman 17. Sam Crean 18. James Johnston 19. Griff Evans 20. Syd Blackmore 21. Pete White 22. Gwyn Parks 23. Josh Skelcey

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