Tough day at the office for the Jets against a superior Richmond side who fully deserved an emphatic win.
Richmond couldn’t raise a team earlier in the season to play at Dillingham Park but at home, they had a squad of 22. Jets were determined not to cry off a match and we pulled together a 19 man squad and to a man they were superb, never giving up and so nearly grabbing the 4th try at the end for a bonus point.
The starting pack for Ampthill had 2 teenagers, including Ali Gibbs making his debut and two blokes who will never see their 30s again! (well if it’s good enough for the 1st XV!) The starting backline had another 3 teenagers. Richmond had a full back bigger than our second rows and who to be honest, coasted through the match, making line break after line break, and offloading at will. Richmond were also very streetwise and after a 13th penalty in less than 30 minutes (majority in the red zone) the ref decided a yellow card was overdue.
The good news is the Jets never gave up, didn’t blame the (rather good) ref and scored 3 tries. The first score came during the sin bin when a poor Richmond clearance kick found its way to outside centre, Will Norford (shirt sponsor CJ Drylining) who cut inside the last defender for a try which he then converted. Just the start of a man of the match performance from Will.
Half time talk centered around needing to keep positive and go for 3 more tries and a bonus point. Jets just fell short but did score two more tries. First was a great offload by replacement centre Matt Garrett to replacement wing Bartek Krzyzanski, excellently converted by sharpshooter Norford. Next Jets try came from an initial lineout catch and drive by Ampthill with replacement hooker Jonny Cresswell in control at the back then breaking near the line and offloading to scrum-half (shirt sponsor Wardown Engineering) Tom Clark who finished in the tight corner under pressure from the defender- a finish Dad Leigh and Grandad Slim could only have dreamed of doing!!
With 2 minutes on the clock, the Jets didn’t bother with the conversion, running back to get the game restarted and go for that bonus point try. Despite regaining possession and going on the attack a knock-on led to the ref blowing for time.
So beaten but certainly not defeated. The Jets now have two weeks to get to training for the 18th when we hope that Bracknell will be just the 2nd team from the Raging Bull Shield 2 league to actually come and play us on our patch. Fingers crossed and come on you Jets.