A bright, clear sunny afternoon in West London saw the 1881’s continue their league campaign against a very strong looking Saxons side.
Ampthill shaded the opening exchanges and the first scrum resulted in a penalty to the A’s. A kick to the corner and a few phases later saw flanker Griff Phillipson touching down under the posts for a 0 – 7 lead.
A converted try after 15 minutes for Saxons was followed by a period of play where A’s dominated and Phillipson again crossed the line for 7 – 14 following long periods of pressure from the forwards in the oppositions 22.
From the restart A’s defence was caught asleep and Saxons scored with a knock back from the kick, one pass and a good line run made it 14 – 14 at half time.
The second half continued in the same way and the A’s forwards dominating. The continued pressure brought a tap penalty in front of the posts for Ampthill and caught Saxons off guard for flanker Paddy Ryan to place the ball for 14 – 21 after 15 minutes. A’s then 10m out and looking to score, moved the ball wide left but a mishandling error saw a loose ball on the floor and a run the length of the pitch for Saxons to again draw level at 21 – 21.
Probably the try of the game from the restart saw Ryan beat several defenders up the left side before passing out wide to hooker Matt Gallagher running up the touchline taking in a couple of defenders and making an offload inside to winger Pemihwa to finish the last 5m, 21 – 26 and 20 minutes to play.
An Ampthill scrum 15m out drove the opposition back and A’s thought they had scored but the referee brought play back for another scrum and not allowing the advantage due to potential unsafe play. The resulting reset saw the ball go right and through a number of phases before Pierce Holland, on in the front row, touched it down for 21 – 33. Ampthill were able to stretch the lead out further following a lineout on Saxons 22 and good yards made from Holland and the resulting ruck saw winger Josh Skelcey run a good line to take a nice inside pass and open the defence to score under the posts with a 20m run and a 21 – 40 scoreline.
Saxons scored a consolation try with minutes to go and a final score of 28 – 40.
Ampthill, while pleased with the result were also conscious that had errors been cut out more tries were possible and less points should have been conceded. Things to work on.
The 1881’s sit now in second place in the league with 3 games in hand on RAMS above them but only 1 point behind them. Next week sees the 1881’s travel to Bishop Stortford for what will be a 10 point double header against a very good side.