28 — 24
A Great Improvement but much still to do
Albanian supporters wanted to know if their squad had put the traumatic events of the previous Saturday behind them so they will not have been too disappointed with this close loss against ambitious Ampthill. Their hosts after all had drawn on the opening day with title contenders Birmingham Moseley.
Three tries to four made Gavin Hogg a much happier man than he was seven days earlier and he said after the match that much had been improved but there was still plenty to work on.
It seemed early on that a surprise might be on the cards when Albanians went into a fourteen point lead after just five minutes. Danny Hartwell touched down first and Reuben Bird-Tulloch ran onto a neat grubber from Jack Bradford who bossed the backs well all afternoon. Both efforts were converted by Dan Watt.
It was twenty minutes before the scorer was troubled again, Sydney Blackmore crossing for the first of a brace, Lawrence Rayner successful with the kick. Half time came and went with the visitors seven points to the good, an improved attitude frustrating much of what Ampthill tried to put together.
Paul Turner said later he had some serious words with his charges at the break and they must have listened as a more forceful start to the second period saw them draw level thanks to Paino Hehea’s powerful surge. Rayner again added the extras and as the clock ran down on the third quarter Karim Lynch stole over giving Ampthill a lead they were not to lose.
Watt’s penalty reduced the OA deficit two minutes later but with ten minutes remaining Blackmore completed his double and Rayner his kicking. It was left to Oliver Morris to notch the last try which brought a deserved losing bonus to the Woollams men along with Watt’s final conversion.
This was a much better effort from Albanians who have some serious thinking to do before taking on the might of Coventry at home next week. Gavin Hogg has said his side will improve week on week and this next test may well be the toughest yet.
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|Ampthill & District Community Rugby Club Dillingham Park, Woburn Street, Ampthill, Bedford MK45 2HX, UK|