Ampthill 18/3/23


12Doncaster Knights

2:00 pm · March 18, 2023

Uninspiring Afternoon at Dillingham Park Sees Knights’ Away Struggles Continue

Doncaster Knights still look to better their away form after a disappointing game against Ampthill at Dillingham Park this Saturday saw the hosts claim the 31-12 win.

Unfortunately for the Knights, a yellow card came before any points on the board did. Just 8 minutes into the encounter, co-captain Sam Olver was sent from the field for a high tackle.

He was only the first however, as his half-back partner Alex Dolly compounded the woes by getting a yellow card of his own 6 short minutes later for cynical play.

Ampthill capitalised on this second man hitting the sin bin as they went quickly with their lineout and Joe Sproston took the ball at the rear to charge over for the opening points. Tom Hardwick then added the conversion.

A grubber fight broke out in the next unfolding quarter but Ampthill reclaimed the momentum with a second try on 27 minutes. Taking the quick tap, it seemed the Knights players were too conscious of the possibility of another penalty for tackling the man too early. Tom Bacon took that as a chance to snake around his man, claiming the pass on the wing to run in with clean air.

With the clock in the red for the first half, the Dillingham Park men added a third to their tally to make the second half start all the harder for the Knights. Going wide on the far side, with a man overlap they grubbered a ball through for Ollie Dawkins to chase down for the score over the line.

The Knights seemed to start the second half stronger. On 45 minutes, the driving maul – ever productive for the Donny men this season – drove over with George Roberts, fresh on the field at the half, at the bottom of it.

Ampthill shortly followed the Donny score, however, with their bonus point clincher. With repeated chances in the Knights 22, and a handy penalty at the breakdown, they recycled ball fast to put Paddy Ryan over the whitewash with Hardwick kicking the extras through.

On the hour, a fifth home-side try seemed to put the early sealant on the Knights’ fate. Having controlled a high ball, Jack Metcalf looked for a flick offload but Dawkins got himself onto the ball instead and jogged it in under the posts. Hardwick’s conversion secured the 2 points.

The hosts lost a man minutes later as Cam Boon was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle in much the same fashion as Olver had been in the first half.

The Knights second try came with 67 minutes on the clock. A perfectly timed break from Joe Margetts was the platform. His lovely run got the centre into the 22 – he had Will Yarnell on his right but he chose to go out to his left for Maliq Holden to finish the score. Billy McBryde then struck the extras through.

Both sides lost a man with 10 minutes left to play as Holden and George Worth were simultaneously shown yellow cards for foul play against one another off the ball.

Scrambled play in the closing minutes wasn’t enough to produce any more points for the Knights to attempt chasing down a bonus point. Unfortunately, the Donny side will head back to base without a point from the encounter and with issues in their away form still in existence.

Match Statistics

Ampthill XV | 15 Tom Bacon; 14 Josh Skelcey, 13 George Worth, 12 Gwyn Parks, 11 Ollie Dawkins; 10 Tom Hardwick, 9 Pete White; 1 James Flynn, 2 Matt Gallagher, 3 Joe Sproston, 4 Charlie Beckett, 5 Cam Boon, 6 Fyn Brown, 7 Paddy Ryan, 8 Harry Wilson.

Replacements | 16 Samson Adejemi, 17 Zac Nearchou, 18 Jevaughn Warren, 19 Geordie Irvine, 20 Morgan Strong, 21 Nahum Merigan, 22 Lewis Finlay, 23 Conor Rankin.

Tries: Sproston, Bacon, Dawkins 2, Ryan

Cons: Hardwick 2

Yellow card: Cam Boon, George Worth


Starting XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 George Simpson, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 James Wayland, 2 Will Holling, 3 Jake Armstrong, 4 Ehize Ehizode, 5 Max Williamson, 6 Jared Cardew, 7 Rhys Tait, 8 Sam Hudson.

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Andrew Foster, 19 Theo Vukasinovic, 20 Sam Daly, 21 Will Yarnell, 22 Jack Metcalf, 23 Martin Sigren.

Tries: Roberts, Holden

Cons: McBryde 

Yellow card: Sam Olver, Alex Dolly, Maliq Holden


Referee: Harry Walbaum

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