Marfo try sees Park up to third and end A’s streak
AMPTHILL head coach Paul Turner lamented a late strategical error from his side as the A’s saw their five-game unbeaten run ended by promotion rivals Rosslyn Park.
The visitors were awarded a penalty with five minutes left at The Rock as they trailed 10-3, presenting a golden opportunity to seek the try that would have earned them a draw.
However, Turner’s men instead opted to kick for points in the hope they could overturn the score completely, allowing Park to see out a narrow victory.
“There was no point taking the kick,” a crestfallen Turner said after the match.
“We were putting a load of pressure on them so we should have either scrummed or looked for a tap down – I’m disappointed we didn’t do that.
“The call was made to try and get the win but we hadn’t played well from deep all game.
“We hadn’t scored from 60 metres back all day so I didn’t think we were going to do it in the last four minutes.
“It was probably a point lost more than a point gained, but such is life.”
The home side had not beaten Ampthill in five attempts since 2015 but they dominated a physical first half and headed in with a 10-0 lead.
The game’s only try arrived after just eight minutes, as Park’s top tryscorer Benji Marfo crossed for the fifth time this season following a maul on the wing.
Greg Lound then found the posts from a difficult angle to add the extras and it wasn’t long before he had converted a penalty to extend the lead, following a fine interception from skipper Adam Frampton.
Ampthill had no answer to Park’s efficient play and as the second half began they were on course for their fourth defeat in six away matches this season.
“Our pattern of play away from home is to cut out the errors and start well, but we didn’t do either of those things today,” Turner continued.
“When you make as many errors as we did you get what you deserve.”
James Pritchard restored some hope for the A’s shortly after the restart by grabbing a penalty goal,
and as the clock ticked down Park were beginning to struggle as they remained hemmed inside their own half.
But Wilson’s penalty meant the game ended 10-6 and ensured they recorded a first win over Ampthill in six attempts, much to the delight of defensive coach Jordan Turner-Hall.
“You can never play the perfect game so you have to take the result when you can get it,” he said.
“Ampthill are a top-four team and we put in a good shift, especially in defence, so as defensive coach I’ve got to be happy with that.
Park move up to third in the table with the win while Ampthill are sixth, but Turner-Hall remains uninterested in any promotion talk for now.
“You’ve got to be realistic,” he said.
“If we stick to our processes and stay in the chase then I’m happy with that for now.”
Pile up: Ollie Morris scores a try for Rosslyn Park under a pile of bodies
Full stretch: Park skipper Adam Frampton rules the lineout