A sublime individual display by fly half Gwyn Parks helped Ampthill secure an emphatic bonus point victory at London Scottish, their first away success of the season.
Ampthill came out of the blocks quickly, and after dominating territory, scored the opening try of the game 3 minutes in, with the ball eventually spread to winger Brandon Jackson who brilliantly side-stepped the London Scottish defender, leaving him with the simple task of strolling across the tryline. Following a simple Gwyn Parks conversion, Ampthill had a 7-0 lead.
The hosts responded well to the early setback, and just 7 minutes later scored their first try of the game. Following a dominant rolling maul from close range, back rower Will Trenholm dived over the line unopposed, but Ampthill still held a 7-5 lead thanks to a missed conversion from Connor Slevin.
London Scottish continued to apply immense pressure on the Mob’s defence, and after a yellow card to Kapeli Pifeleti, took the lead on the 30 minute mark. Scottish used their man advantage effectively, quickly distributing the ball to the right wing off the back of an attacking scrum, with winger Will Talbot-Davies having the time and space to ground the ball with ease. Ampthill only trailed 10-7 following another missed conversion by Slevin.
Despite still being down to 14 men, Ampthill retook the lead heading into half time, after a brilliant kick through from Gwyn Parks was gratefully received by winger Tobias Elliot, who evaded the last ditch tackle to dot under the posts. Once again Gwyn Parks kicked a simple conversion to give the Mob a 14-10 lead at the break.
After a cagey opening to the second half, in the 53rd minute Ampthill ran in their 3rd try of the evening. Charlie Bracken put in a well-placed kick to leave the hosts under serious pressure in their 22 and whilst Scottish attempted to remove the danger, Brandon Jackson charged the clearing kick, and after a generous bounce, plucked the ball out of the air and ran in the try from close range.
Ampthill continued to dominate possession and territory, and just over 10 minutes later secured the bonus point score. After building the phases from a lineout just outside the London Scottish 22, Kapeli Pifeleti eventually broke the line, and gleefully ran into the open space, having enough momentum to cross the whitewash, despite the best efforts of the Scottish covering defence. The man of the moment Parks kicked his third conversion of the night to extend the lead to 26-10.
Parks kicked a 76th minute penalty to extend the lead further to 29-10, and with the last play of the game Ampthill scored their 5th and final try of the match. Playing with a penalty advantage, Brandon Jackson went on a mazy run, breaking through numerous tackles to put Ampthill in a strong position, and just a couple of phases later, replacement hooker Ben Chapman burst through the gaping hole in the Scottish defence to crash over the tryline. Gwyn Parks’ 4th conversion of the match sealed a 36-10 victory for the Mob.
Speaking after the victory Ampthill Head Coach Paul Turner said,“We played really well in the 2nd half, that’s probably the best we’ve played consistently across the season. The half-backs Charlie Bracken and Gwyn Parks I thought were outstanding, and they drove the side into the right areas”.
Ampthill Points Scorers
Tries: Jackson 3, 53; Elliot 34, Pifeleti 63, Chapman 80
Conversions: Parks 4, 35, 64, 80
Penalties: Parks 76
Player of the Match: Gwyn Parks