Dunstable 14 v 32 Ampthill
We visited near neighbours Dunstable today in the first EM League match of the season. As you know, we have decided to enter the EML to ensure that all boys in the squad get game time this year and that we continue to develop all players. Our squad of 22 quickly went to 21 overnight after a nasty eye injury to Charlie G, and was further reduced before kick off by an injury to Adam in the warm up. A neck injury is always treated seriously and our resident First Aid guru Duncan was on hand to provide initial treatment and then supported by some kind folk from Dunstable got Adam off to hospital for a check up – good news is that no serious damage done and Mini Sarge will be back soon.
We started ok, dominating possession and scoring a good try through debutant Henry who danced through the defence against his old team. Then we decided to switch off, not rucking over the ball, missing simple tackles and in some cases not being brave enough to take down a good runner in the D’s number 12. We allowed two soft tries and two conversions which saw us trail 14 – 5 in a contest which should have been put to bed quickly.
Ross and then Pierce got us back into the game just before half time and we went in leading by 1 point. The second half was a tale of territory for the A’s with D’s clearing their line time and time again by hacking the ball clear. Credit to the boys that they stuck at it, and Pierce once again went over to score and Charlie S converted. We then relaxed, a quickly taken penalty by Fynn combined with a show and go put Ben clear just on half way and he sped down the touchline showing the D’s defence the back of his shirt all the way to score under the posts.
We then scored arguably the team try of the day, with another debutant Chad taking the ball into contact well, debutant Dylan picking and driving three D’s off the ball to set up an exchange of passes between Harry and Fynn and Charlie to then allow Harry to set Joe up to score a well received try following his return to the team after a year off through injury – Joe’s smile (and the 5 pound reward for scoring) wrapped up the day with a 14 – 32 win for the A’s.
Congratulations to all involved and thank you to Kitman, Duncan, Mark and Steve for helping to get the boys ready with Damo and I.