Having narrowly beaten Ampthill last year in the league, and with both Ampthill and Scottish starting with two wins from two, this was a match many were looking forward to. Sadly it did not develop into the contest it could have been and Scottish were well beaten on the day by an Ampthill side that kept it simple, tackled well and supported superbly.
Ampthill started strongly, putting Scottish under pressure early on through a clean break from their blindside winger. He ran through the middle of our line to score under the posts. Following the conversion, Scottish were 7-0 down with only seconds on the clock.
From the restart Ampthill were probing our backs though the play was at least in the right half of the pitch. Eventually a gap appeared as our defensive line broke too early, went hunting for the tackle but left a gap behind. Tackle made, but with the defence out of position Ampthill found the gap and raced through for their second. Marcel having to go off after taking a knock in the process brought Mark into the wing and Ethan into the centre.
Scottish started coming into the match more, and were beginning to put some phases together themselves. When in defence, the Scottish tackles were beginning to stop the first runner However, Ampthill were supporting their players well and releasing some beautiful offloads which kept the momentum going. Tackle, tackle, tackle was the nature of the game for Scottish, who were also uncharacteristically unable to break through the Ampthill backline when in possession. Konrad probing, Jacob coming into the line, Ethan making a series of half breaks and Seth probing on both wings all came up short.
Scottish's possession began to increase but all credit to Ampthill when first Ethan, then Konrad threatened to break through, Ampthill's defence held firm. One turn over too many and their well-timed offloads beat us and their next try came out wide just as Konrad was about to pounce.
Scottish again seemed to be coming back into the match, but were unable to break through. A penalty passed to Thomas lead to a clash of the titans, and unfortunately, Thomas went down and was off for a period which led to uncontested scrums.
With Ampthill quickly up on us when we were in possession we did not have the time to play our natural game. A few loose passes in the windy conditions played straight into the hands of Ampthill and led to a period of free running from them. Ampthill were playing better than us, we tackled, but sometimes it would take two players to stop the attack and they picked up a couple more tries.
Half time came and saw Marcel and Thomas return to the fray. With our scrum working well (all credit to Karl, Cameron, Max and Thomas who were at times our front row) and our rucking beginning to push Ampthill off the ball (Jackson ripping the ball beautifully at times), Scottish were getting more possession. But sadly, not the points.
The first try of the second half went to Ampthill, but Scottish were enjoying their best period of the game. Eventually an attack, with a series of short passes (possibly changing hands over 8 times) led to Will going over for a try.
After that Scottish pushed too hard and Ampthill managed a couple more tries for the game.
Whilst Ampthill were better than us the day, there were a lot of positives for Scottish with some excellent forward work.
Thank you to Robert who filled in as ref after the allotted ref did not turn up, and thank you to Ampthill for your hospitality and playing a great game. Scottish will now go away, lick their wounds, learn from the mistakes and come back fighting.