Ampthill & District 33 Plymouth Albion 28

Matt Shepherd of Plymouth Albion breaks for the line during the National Division 1 match between Ampthill v Plymouth Albion at Dillingham Park, Ampthill, Bedfordshire on March 10th 2018, UK. PHOTO: Cameron Geran/PPAUK

By Tim March at Dillingham Park

Plymouth Albion were once again unable to reach their best away from home, going down 33-28 at Ampthill & District in National League One.

Head coach Kieran Hallett had to admit afterwards that his team probably did not deserve to shade a really close contest.

He said: “I think if you look at the manner in which we scored our tries they were against the run of play.

“Some of our attack was very good but realistically they have probably outplayed us; fair play to them, second half they have kept the ball incredibly well, we just couldn’t get hold of It.

“The disappointing thing for me was we defended for a really long period, turned them over then had a really poor exit and allowed them to come back at us again.

“Then towards the end with about five minutes to go we turned them over and we go on the attack and then kick the ball away. Little things like that, if we hold on to the ball there we probably close the game out if not score again. But in all honesty, it was our discipline in the first half that let us down.”

He added: “The three penalties we gave them for the three tries scored were all off points where they had no momentum; Ampthill weren’t going anywhere. It was just a bit of naivety and immaturity on our part.”

With two games in hand over their hosts, Hallett at least thought that his side would finish the season above them. “Yeah, we probably will, the effort and endeavour we showed we unbelievable. We pretty much defended for 40 minutes in the second half and the boys are still flying in, the effort was outstanding, it was just our discipline in the first half.”

Albion back row Sam Daly paid credit to Ampthill, but was frustrated that the sides were separated by what he saw as avoidable errors.

He said: “Undoubtedly, they were a good side and held on to the ball very well, they were very physical, but we matched them up front in that respect.

“We just made too many mistakes if anything. I would say that was probably the main cause of our demise.”

The game was end to end in the first half with both team trading blows. Matt Shepherd and Ed Holmes getting on the scoresheet for Albion.

In the second half Ampthill had all the passion but Albion limited their scoring with resolute defending. Ultimately it proved not enough.

Albion’s next match is back at the Brickfields next Saturday, March 17 (KO 1pm) where they take on Bishop’s Stortford.

Ampthill: 15 Karim Lynch, 14 James Pritchard, 13 Sam Hanks, 12 Peter Weightman, 11 Sam Baker, 10 Lawrence Rayner, 9 Kevin Barrett, 1 Jack Culverhouse, 2 Aleki Lutui, 3 Matt Collins, 4 Ben Collins, 5 Josh Walker, 6 Billy Johnson (Captain), 7 Joe Bercis, 8 Maana Molitika.

Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Karl Garside, 18 Syd Blackmore, 19 Will Allman, 20 Gavin Williams.

Plymouth Albion: 15 Matt Shepherd, 14 Matt Crosscombe, 13 Harrison Cully, 12 Dean Squire, 11 Jordan Gott, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Joe Snow, 1 Luke Chapman, 2 Jamie Salter, 3 Dan Pullinger, 4 Sean Lonsdale, 5 Ed Holmes, 6 George Mills, 7 Sam Daly, 8 Dan Williams (Captain).

Replacements: 16 Will Norton, 17 Rupert Freestone, 18 Eoghan Grace, 19 Cam Setter, 20 Seta Raumakita.