Plymouth bare to move third
PLYMOUTH Albion maintained their unbeaten home record with a hard-earned win over secondplaced Ampthill on a miserable afternoon.
The game at Brickfields won’t live long in the memory.
But Plymouth did just enough to secure the victory that moved them up to third in the table.
Plymouth skipper Eoghan Grace said: “Those were tough conditions out there and it was always going to be a forward battle.
“Ampthill have a big physical pack and we knew we had to match them up front.
“Our defence was outstanding and not to concede a try is a big ego boost for us.”
Ampthill had first use of the wind and took the game to Albion from the kick off.
Visiting fly-half Josh Sharp was wide with a relatively easy early penalty before a great tackle by Plymouth full-back Jack Arnott prevented Ampthill wing James Pritchard from scoring in the corner.
Despite being put under a lot of pressure, the Plymouth defence looked strong despite giving away a number of penalties.
When Sharp was wide with another kick at goal Ampthill handed the kicking duties to James Pritchard who opened the scoring with a penalty from the 22.
Plymouth then went down to 14 when lock Dan Collier was yellow carded and Pritchard doubled the Ampthill lead with the resultant penalty.
Ampthill lock Josh Walker joined Collier in the bin and while he was off the field Plymouth grabbed the lead.
After a series of forward drives Plymouth released the ball to wing Matt Crosscombe who went over in
the corner for a gamedefining try.
Plymouth fly-half Dan Mugford sent his side into the interval leading by a single point by slotting a fine conversion from the touchline.
Early in the second half, Pritchard restored Ampthill’s lead with a well struck penalty after Plymouth were caught offside giving the momentum back to the away side.
The lead changed hands for a fourth time when Mugford confidently put over a penalty given for an illegal tackle.
As the conditions worsened Ampthill found themselves coming under increasing pressure, which saw them give away a series of penalties.
In the 64th minute when Ampthill strayed offside, Mugford knocked over the penalty from 40 metres to give Plymouth some breathing space.
Despite being tested by Ampthill’s desperate attack late in the game, the Plymouth defence held firm despite going down to 14 for a second time when Grace was carded.
Ampthill head coach Paul Turner said: “We left too many points out there in the first half.
“We could easily have gone into the interval leading 12-0 but found ourselves 7-6 down.
“Our forwards worked hard but I was disappointed with our set piece – particularly the lineout.”
Crossing the line: Plymouth Albion’s Matt Crosscombe touches down, while teammate Sean Lonsdale wrestles for the ball with Ampthill’s Joe Bercis, right