Coventry journeyed to Dillingham Park with the aim of achieving a rare away win against Ampthill in what was a re-arranged league fixture from earlier in the campaign.
The boys in Sky Blue came out of the metaphorical blocks extremely quickly. The Coventry supporters who had made the trip to Bedfordshire were treated to a breath-taking opening ten minutes, as Coventry ran in three un-answered tries.
The first came inside the first 180 seconds of the match, as Will Rigg crossed in the corner after a lovely set of hands found the centre in space. The second came a mere five minutes later as Coventry swiftly turned defence into attack and travelled from one end of the pitch to the other before James Martin continued his rich vein of try-scoring form this season by stretching over the line. On the ten-minute mark, it looked like Martin was to grab a second, but for a smart George Smith dummy which enabled the tall second row to stretch his legs and show his speed all the way to the try line. Mitchell made no mistakes off the kicking tee with any of the resulting conversions, making the score 0-21 after 10 minutes.
Ampthill are always tough opponents, especially when playing at Dillingham Park. With a habit of always staying in the fight, the home side where first to gather the ball after a loose kick in midfield before speedster, Ben Harris crossed for Ampthill’s first of the afternoon. (7-21)
The lightning-fast start to the contest continued as Cov answered with another try of their own. The bonus point score came from a well put together driving maul which Suva Ma’asi happily finished off. The Ampthill pack were determined to show off their own power and strength up front, quickly firing back with some patient build-up play, before second row, Devine, crashed over with a pick-and-go. (14-28)
The game finally slowed down a touch, and the sides looked set to go into the sheds with a 14-point margin until Coventry made the most of their possession in the final minute of the half, and George Smith crossed the whitewash for his second off the back of another successful driving maul.
Half time: Ampthill 14-33 Coventry
The second period didn’t quite mirror the first, as both sides took 15 minutes or so to get into top gear. The home side managed to land the first blow after the break when they crashed over the try line from close range on the 55th minute.
Some smart defence and game management from the Coventry side meant that there were to be little nerves of an Ampthill comeback in the dying moments of the match. With 20 minutes left to play, Coventry once more transitioned from defence to attack in a swift manner before James Martin sprinted away from his man. (21-38)
As Ampthill began to throw caution to the wind, more loose turnovers in open play gave Coventry more counter-attacking opportunities. Will Lane was the beneficiary of one of these turnovers of possession, and as he gathered the ball he sealed a resounding victory by running it home.
Full Time: Ampthill 21-45 Coventry
Thank you to all of the travelling supporters that came to Dillingham Park, and we look forward to seeing you at our final three matches of the season including one more ‘big bash’ at home when we take on Nottingham on the 22nd April.