Chinnor 38 Ampthill 33
After a season in which they played under pressure in every match, Chinnor appear to be enjoying life in National One without worrying about a promotion challenge.
Last season Chinnor had to battle all the way to get out of National Two south and they have now started life in the third flight in flying fashion with wins over Plymouth Albion and now Ampthill
This game was a battle throughout, but Chinnor were able to withstand extended periods on Ampthill pressure in both halves, much to the delight of DoR Matt Williams.He said “The beauty of this season is that we can just go out and enjoy ourselves without having to worry whether we win or lose. Last year was a pressure season because we were desperate for promotion, whereas this year there are no expectations. I think that is helping the players in some way. We had to weather a storm from Ampthill early on, as we knew we would, and they really came at us in the final stages as well but we are thrilled by the win
It was an emotional day for all at the club- this was the first home game since Head Physio Lauren Cyster died in June at just 26 years old from cancer.
Chinnor were clearly intent on honouring her memory but playing into a fairly stiff breeze they were put under pressure by a lively Ampthill start and after eight minutes it was the visitors who led thanks to a Sam Hanks score. Further pressure from Chinnor was met with stiff resistance and Ampthill countered after forcing errors
From a lineout on half way following a well executed driving maul for 20m Bertie Hopkins kicked wide into the arms of Craig Holland who offloaded to Alex Dancer to touch down. Some two minutes later after some great handling from Chinnor Joe Dancer set up Craig Holland who duly scored. Kevin Barret answered for Ampthill with some neat footwork. There then followed a series of strong drives from Chinnor and more quick ball to Craig Holland allowed him to crash over. Then from a Chinnor lineout a catch and drive resulted in a penalty try on the stroke of half time. Chinnor 24-14
Chinnor started the second half well and from another catch and drive scored their fifth try through Joe Dance. Ampthill responded and Matt Collins went over but Chinnor had a sixth try when Reon Joseph picked up on a loose ball and crashed over.
Ampthill pushed hard in the last ten minutes, conjuring up two further tries through Nigel Baker and Barrett’s second but they had left themselves too much to do and Chinnor saw out a second successive victory
Mom Joe Dancer
Referee Mr James Clarke
Chinnor Tries- Dance (A) 18 Holland 20,34,Penalty36,Dancer (J)52,Joseph 68
Conversions – Hopkin 21, Holland 53,69
Ampthill Tries – Hanks 8,Barrett 29,73 Collins 55 Baker 72
Conversions Pritchard 9, Collins 30, 72,74
Goss,Joseph,Dancer A,Barnes (cpt),Holland,Hopkin,Barton,Elwood,George,Gilding, Ramshaw,Thomas,Dancer J, Bell, Burns
Pritchard,Foster,Hanks,Reeder,Baker,Sharp,Barrett,Tong’uiha (Cpt), Lutui,Collins,Hehea,Burgess,Allman,Bercis,Blackmore.