Rosslyn Park 21 1stXV 31, Sat Mar 24, 2018, National 1
Ampthill travelled to London to face Rosslyn Park on wet dreary afternoon to find, as always, the artificial pitch in it’s usual pristine state.
Amps, playing in their black away kit, started poorly with Park awarded a penalty for not rolling away at a ruck which they chose to kick for the corner. The home side’s well executed catch and drive cross d the line for a converted try on 3 minutes.
A’s direct & physical response saw the pack with both locks Josh Walker and Carl Burgess leading by example put the hosts under pressure. Rosslyn Park were struggling to cope, conceding multiple penalties and after many phases fly half Lawrence Rayner broke through to score under the sticks with full back James Pritchard adding the extras to tie the scores in the 10th minute.
On 15 minutes the visitors were awarded a penalty converted by Pritchard to take a lead which they never looked like conceding.
Amps now turned the screw and with the home side under continuous pressure another penalty kicked to the corner saw wing Sam Baker attach himself to the maul that followed the lineout and touch down for try again converted by Pritchard in the 22nd minute.
The visitors were now dominant but perhaps playing too much rugby in the wrong places and a careless off load by Baker led to a converted try to Park closing the gap to 3pts.
A’s pack redoubled their efforts leading to a repeat penalty, kick to the corner, lineout, catch & drive with hooker Aleki Lutui touching down the try converted by Pritchard on the stroke of half time leaving the visitors leading 14-24 at oranges.
Ampthill began the second half as they left off the first with yet another, penalty, kick, lineout, maul try this time scored by centre Pete Weightman with the 100% perfect from the T Pritchard adding the 2pts.
The home side were under increasing pressure as Amps were dominating territory and possession but once more a mistake, this time a missed touch finder from fullback Karim Lynch saw the hosts go the length of the field to reduce the lead to 10pts.
However, that was the final score with the visitors in control for the remainder of the game running our victors 21-31 with a try bonus point.
Lock Walker, who is enjoying a great run of form which includes six consecutive starts in the second row, put in another fine shift to secure man of the match.
Head Coach Paul Turner Commented “A dominant performance against a strong, in form Park side at the Rock is encouraging and I was particularly pleased with our forward pack with all eight forwards and three replacements going really well.”
Good Friday sees us travel to Eltham for a massive match against a really strong Old Elthamians side, a real test for an Ampthill squad currently on a run of 10 games unbeaten.