Pre-Season ends with tough game against Ampthill
Match Report courtesy of Brian Patterson
27th August 2022
Glamorgan Wanderers RFC Versus Ampthill RFC
A fine, hot sunny day greeted both teams at the Memorial ground for this pre season friendly.
Ampthill arrived with great confidence from their previous weeks win against Newport 54 – 12.
Wanderers fielded some new players and new combinations and were also pumped up by last weeks win against Glynneath plus the opposition in front of them.
A good start was required from the home team as Ampthill blew Newport away in the opening exchanges and the game was over at half time.
The opening contests were fierce and no quarter given and the game was dominated by some fine defence play. The home team grew in confidence and matched the away side in every facet. In the opening quarter there were no real scoring opportunities until a fine line break by Alfie Llewellyn The back rower charged up the blind side beating a couple of defenders until he was hauled down just short of the line. In close support however was wing back Morgan Williams to gobble up the off load and crash over. The try was unconverted but the Wands edged ahead.
From the restart, the Wands try ignited the Ampthill players who surged into the Wands half. Some good continuity play took the away team into the Red Zone and fine inter play between forwards and backs saw the away side retake the lead with a converted try.
The second quarter saw jacklers from both teams win crucial turnover penalties to relieve the pressure in their own half. The Wanderers were still holding their own and their scrum and lineout maintained possession. The front five carried and defended manfully and the back row beavered about the ground slowing the ball down and generally giving their all.
Replacement centre Dan Stancombe impressed, both defensively and carrying and was a constant target for securing possession. The players were coping and managing the Ampthill attacks to the extent that the away side lost their fluency resulting in unforced errors.
That important period just before half time approached and Ampthill seemed to up their game with a view of better tasting oranges during the half time talk. As a result of their pressure the Wands conceded too many penalties and conceded heaps of territory. Ampthill were clinical and took their opportunities on both occasions.
A succession of two attacking line outs gave the away side the platform to grind out two bullish scores before the break and from being just two points adrift the Wands found themselves 21 – 5 down as the referee blew for half time. Not a fair reflexion of the Wanderers efforts.
HT Wanderers 5pts Ampthill 21pts
The second half kicked off and maintained the intensity of the first 40. However it was evident that Ampthill had used their subs well and the Wands scrum was put under intense pressure. Still 15 minutes in, no scores had been made and the Wands players took heart from their efforts.
The home side were unable to gain any meaningful territory in this first period and Ampthill bashed and battered from all facets of play.
A few lose kicks from the Wands kept the home side under the cosh and eventually the Ampthill pressure paid off with another fine score from continuity play to push the away side further ahead at 28 – 5.
However the Wands didn’t give in and kept Ampthill at bay with some uncompromising defence despite the constant barrage of attacks using their superior set piece and territory gained.
It was frustrating, however that the next score from Amphill came from a speculative chip and chase which the Wands initially covered. The egg shaped ball bounced the wrong way and a possible off the ball tackle was missed by the referee and play squirted into the Wands 22. Good support from Ampthill saw their No 10 and MOM jink over the line for an opportunist score which was superbly converted from the touch line. 35 – 5
Both sides made their last substitutions as the match entered the final 15 minutes and it was a tired Wands side that still refused to back down until the last play of the game.
A scrum five was given to Ampthill in front of the posts, but the Wands scrum held firm. The ball was released to the open side and within two more offloads their No 8 was on hand to dab down.
Final Score Wands 5 Ampthill 42.