Ampthill 29/01/21

19Doncaster Knights


2:30 pm · January 29, 2022

Knights Take Win Without Bonus Point Against Ampthill

It was a relatively quiet performance from the Knights as they claimed a four point victory over Ampthill at Castle Park this afternoon.

Steve Boden’s men emerged the 19-13 victors, but their best performance seemed to elude them throughout the encounter.

Wind was most definitely a deciding factor in many facets of the game today as it whipped across the Doncaster field in the afternoon sunshine.

A relatively even opening quarter saw the two sides jockey for attacking possession before the Knights were the ones able to first convert ball in hand into points.

A classy phase of play saw Mark Best offloading to release Ben Murphy. Alex Dolly was then able to quickly get ball to Sam Olver who whipped in a long pass to Joe Margetts who cantered over for the opening score. Despite weather conditions, Olver found the posts to convert.

A feature of the day reared it’s head as the first of a number of Ampthill’s restarts went out on the full, bringing about the halfway-line scrum.

Five minutes shy of half time, the Knights were scoring again. Trick plays a-plenty off the back of a scrum allowed the Knights to confuse the Ampthill defensive line. Sam Graham broke down the wing before his hand-off out to back to Best awarded the centre a run-in. Unfortunately, Olver’s conversion attempt was a hairs-breadth short of the crossbar.

Ampthill also managed to squeeze in a try before the opening 40 minutes was up. After a scrum re-set, the Knights fumbled the ball and their butter fingers didn’t cease as they scrambled backwards in defence.

This moment of error allowed Joe Goodchild to take advantage of a relatively easy run-in. Josh Bragman’s kick went wide of the posts, however, so the sides ran in with Donny in a short 12-5 lead.

A big second half showing was needed to secure a home bonus point, but the Knights never truly looked to have their best foot forward as errors and penalties repeatedly thwarted their efforts.

Just following the hour mark, Ampthill closed the gap on the scoreboard. In what can honestly be described as ‘a bit of a mess’ it looked to be a dropped ball from Donny in the far corner that was dived upon by Ampthill with Jac Arthur emerging from a pile over the line to have the referee award him as scorer.

No conversion gave the Knights a shy two-point blanket to work from.

With five minutes left to play, they added to those points. The pack did the grunt work from the lineout, with Ampthill thinking the forwards had crashed over at the driving maul. However, in delaying his pass, Dolly allowed their confusion to continue to dull their reactions.

Having received the pass, Olver whipped out a ball to Kyle Evans on the wing, who had a clear run-in to cross for the third, and final, Knights score of the day. A perfectly struck conversion from Olver awarded the Knights the extra two points.

At the death, Ampthill still looked to want more. A penalty secured from Russell Bennett closed the gap. However, with nearly five minutes extra time played, the Knights were able to rip the ball from the visitors and Connor Edwards took no time in booting it into touch to end the contest.

Not their greatest day at the office, but the Knights will know that any win is valuable in this ferociously competitive Championship season.

Match Statistics

Knights XV | 15 Sam Olver; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Mark Best, 11 Harry Davey; 10 Billy McBryde, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Ben Carlile, 2 George Roberts, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Ben Murphy, 5 Josh Peters, 6 Guido Volpi, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 George Edgson, 17 Liam Usher, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 Danny Drake, 20 Jack Davies, 21 Joe Green, 22 Connor Edwards, 23 Maliq Holden.

Tries: Margetts, Best, Evans.

Conv: Olver 2.


Ampthill XV | 15 Joe Smith; 14 Joe Goodchild, 13 Ben Cambriani, 12 Thom Hudson, 11 Josh Gillespie; 10 Josh Bragman, 9 Kevin Barrett; 1 Sam Crean, 2 Jack Michael Dickinson, 3 Aleki Lutui, 4 Charlie Beckett, 5 Cai Devine, 6 Jac Arthur, 7 Josh Smart, 8 Patrick Ryan.

Replacements | 16 Will Harding, 17 James Jack, 18 Ewan McQuillin, 19 Carl Burgess, 20 Matt Wilkinson, 21 Roan Frostwick, 22 Jack Bergin, 23 Russell Bennett.

Pens: Bennett.

Tries: Goodchild, Arthur.


Referee: Andrew Jackson

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