Al Morgan Try

Hartpury RFC vs Ampthill - 54 - 34

Al Morgan Try

Hartpury 54 Ampthill 34

 

Hartpury:

Tries: Aristot Benz-Salomon 8, Alex Morgan 21, 79, Sam Lewis 27, 57, Harry Short 47, Will Crane 62, penalty try 71

Conversions: Harry Bazalgette 9, 22, 28, 48, 58, 63

Penalties:

Drop Goals:

 

Ampthill:

Tries: Ben Harris 2, Brandon Jackson-Richards 4, Ben Chapman 12, Tobias Elliot 41, Josh Hallett 51

Conversions: Josh Barton 3, 5, 52

Penalties: Josh Barton 44

Drop Goals:

 

Team line-ups (15-9; 1-8):

Hartpury: Tommy Mathews, Brad Denty, Robbie Smith, Morgan Adderley-Jones, Alex Morgan, Harry Bazalgette, Mike Austin; Aristot Benz-Salomon, Will Crane (C), Jon Benz-Salomon, Dale Lemon, Jack Davies, Sam Lewis, Harry Short, Mitch Eadie

Not used: Ethan Hunt, Mike Summerfield, Joe Rees, Freddie Thomas, Josh Gray; Matty Jones, Charlie Powell, Louis Hillman-Cooper

Ampthill: Tom Bacon, Tobias Elliot, Brandon Jackson-Richards, Josh Hallett, Ben Harris, Josh Barton, Pete White; Zac Nearchou, Ben Chapman, Dom Hardman, Joe Peard, Kaden Pearce-Paul, Josh Smart, Izzy Moore-Aiono, Morgan Strong (c)

Not used: Syd Blackmore, Jasper McGuire, Harvey Beaton, Cai Devine, Nathan Michelow; Joe Green, Gwyn Parks, Fraser Strachan

 

Referee: Alex Thomas

Attendance: 1,034

Half-time: 21 – 19 (to Hartpury)

Star man: Sam Lewis (Hartpury)

 

Bazalgette’s boot blasts Hartpury into the top six

 

by Luke Jarmyn, at the College Ground

 

BIRTHDAY boy Harry Bazalgette marked turning 25 with a stand-out display, kicking 12 points as Hartpury got their biggest points haul of the season against a misfiring Ampthill.

 

It sees the fly-half go to the top of the Championship’s point scorer standings, with the Gloucestershire side making it four wins in five – the equal best form in tier two – to move up to sixth in the league.

 

During a thrilling end-to-end try-fest, blindside Sam Lewis and winger Alex Morgan both scored twice, with loosehead Aristot Benz-Salomon, openside Harry Short and hooker Will Crane all getting on the try sheet, to the delight of Hartpury head coach Mark Cornwell.

 

He said: “I’m very pleased, it’s been a turnaround in fortune for us since the start of the season. Our combinations are gelling together, consistency in selection has been a key for us, not chopping and changing.

 

“The boys are scoring some nice tries, and we’re getting over the line with bonus-point wins, which is good.

 

“I’ll give Harry a little bit of stick for missing that last kick, but he was great for us from the tee, as he has been all season.

 

“Ealing next, a real test, and you’ve got to defend well, we know that, and our defence wasn’t acceptable. I get worried when we haven’t got the ball, it gives us a massive work on for this week ahead, it means we’ve got plenty to work on as we’ve got to be more physical and better organized.”

 

With the sun shining over the College Ground, and the storms of the past week feeling like a distant memory, more than a thousand people packed into the university’s stadium with an early 2:30pm kick-off.

 

Off the back of the postponement of their fixture against Ealing last week, Ampthill looked fresh and it showed, getting a line-out quickly from kick-off, scrum-half Pete White set-up wing Ben Harris who darted round the back to score left of the posts.

 

A minute later, outside-centre Brandon Jackson-Richards raced home over 80 metres from an intercept.

 

Hartpury came back, winning three successive scrums inside the visitor’s half to put the pressure on, and then Benz-Salomon finishing from a short catch-and-drive maul.

 

But the Mob extended their lead, hooker Ben Chapman scoring as the driving maul rumbled over right of the posts on the 12th minute. Fly-half Josh Barton missed the conversion.

The home-side’s quick phase-play led to Morgan powering over on the left, and their scrum put them deep into Ampthill’s 22-metre area before Lewis muscled over by the right post for the half-time lead.

 

The black-shirted A’s restarted quickly, captain Morgan Strong and tighthead Dom Hardman breaking the red shirted defensive line, before wing Tobias Elliot chipped over a defender on the right to score their bonus point try.

 

Hartpury centre Robbie Smith saw yellow for killing the ball in a try scoring opportunity, and Barton’s boot easily extended the Bedfordshire side’s lead from in front of the posts.

 

Undeterred at being a man down, the red’s got back into Ampthill’s half, and Short intercepted an overhead Ampthill line-out to renew the home-side’s lead 28-27.

 

A’s inside centre Josh Hallett dashed down the left for a great solo score, but a minute later replacement tighthead Harvey Beaton saw yellow for a high tackle.

 

The Mob looked to have scored again with a very shrewed Barton crossfield kick – right-to-left - to Harris, but the flyer’s foot was found to be in touch.

 

Then it was all Hartpury, Crane dotted down from another short line-out drive, then the home-side scored a penalty-try with Jackson-Richards carded for collapsing a maul.

 

Hartpury again used their scrum advantage to steamroll Ampthill back, before a quick line-out on the right, with the Mob’s defenders drawn into the centre, replacements Matt Jones and Charlie Powell whipped the ball to Morgan in acres of space on the left, who slide over the try line in the corner on the final minute to complete the win – and grab the 13th try of the game.

 

Ex-Cornish Pirates pivot Bazalgette saw his final conversion kick bounce the wrong way off the uprights, but that didn’t deter from a steller performance which see’s him now sit on 86 points at the top of the league’s point standings.

 

The win is Hartpury’s first at home against Ampthill in the Championship, having lost the last three times that the Maroon & Gold visited the College Ground since their promotion in 2019.

 

Ampthill head coach Paul Turner said: “I’m really disappointed with quite a few of our players, to take a lead 14-0 after five minutes, then be down at half-time. We felt we could win despite our set-piece frailty, it proved so, as we went ahead again, but we gave away some soft tries. I’m just left feeling very disappointed.”

 

Stats:

 

Hartpury:

 

Penalties conceded: 8

Line-outs won: 15

Line-outs lost: 2

Scrums won: 6

Scrums lost: 1

Sin-bins/Reds: 1/0

 

Ampthill:

 

Penalties conceded: 15

Line-outs won: 8

Line-outs lost: 2

Scrums won: 3

Scrums lost: 2

Sin-bins/Reds: 2/0