Ampthill 29/10/22

35Doncaster Knights


2:30 pm · October 29, 2022

Knights Secure Bonus-Point in Confident First Half Against Ampthill

Doncaster Knights secured the try bonus-point within the first 40 minutes at Castle Park today before holding on to the second half to ensure the home win.

It took the Knights 6 minutes to make the first strike, much to the home crowd’s delight. With a renewed driving maul from a lineout just metres out from the line, Will Holling took the ball at the back of the move and was the man announced as the try scorer from the bottom of the pile which crashed over for the Knights’ first points.

Scrum-half Alex Dolly, taking over kicking duty for the day, secured the conversion to take the full 7 points.

The travelling side were reduced to 14 men just 15 minutes in. Their discipline, having caused them issues in the opening quarter, was frayed again as they were penalised for not rolling away. So, looking to make an example, referee Joe James sent the Ampthill captain Charlie Beckett from the field for the repeated infringements.

The Knights made use of the man advantage just a minute later. A slightly wayward pass off the back of a set piece was collected from the bootstraps by Joe Margetts. The centre, showing the epitome of dancing feet, dodged his way through 4 if not 5 tackles to skip over in the corner. Dolly’s conversion took the Knights to 14-0 on the board.

Less than 10 minutes later the Knights struck again. With a move straight off the training field, Holling threw short and low to Ben Murphy at the front of the lineout – the lock in turn whipped around to offload to an onrushing Sam Daly, who charged straight through the awaiting defensive gap to go over for the score. Dolly dutifully added the extras.

Ampthill opened their scoring account with 27 minutes gone. The opposition took their lineout on the Knights’ 5m line to maul towards the line – as a splinter group drew off, Aleki Lutui was put in charge of the ball to drop over the line for the score. The conversion attempt from Gwyn Parks was just wide, however.

With 5 minutes left in the half, the Knights secured the try bonus-point. Coming back across field with their recycles of ball, the duo of George Simpson and Maliq Holden – who had made the initial break for territory – combined at pace once again, such pace that the latter was able to soar in underneath the posts. With Dolly’s conversion, the Knights were 28-5 to the better in the points at the half time whistle.

Just 3 short minutes into the second half, the travelling side added to their score. Olver and Holden looked to wrap up Morgan Strong in a tackle on their line, but the number eight had enough momentum coming into the contact off the maul to crash over and place the ball down. Winger Conor Rankin was the man able to add the extra points.

A couple of minutes short of the hour mark, Ampthill were reduced in their numbers once more. A harsh, and high, tackle on George Simpson on the far side was deemed to have been a piece of foul play, resulting in Ampthill centre Josh Bragman being shown to the sin bin by the referee.

The opposition got over their lack of man power, however, as they were able to score a try during the centre’s missing 10 minutes. As the Knights defended Ampthill’s maul, they went to the phases and Cai Devine took momentum into the tackle and hurtled over for a score. A conversion from replacement Will Partington would prove to be his side’s last points of the day.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, Ampthill were reduced once more. This time it was lock Harry Wilson who was shown the yellow card for a deliberate knock-on on the wing as Holden looked to take a long loop pass.

And the Knights struck off the back of this latest sin-binning. Off the scrum, a lovely connect between Sam Olver and Margetts had the centre jink-stepping his way closer to the line. Recycling the ball, replacement John Kelly charged in to take the pass at pace and score the Knights’ final try of the day. In his last act on the field, Dolly secured the conversion to complete the day’s scoreboard reading 35-19.

Despite some late pressure just before the final whistle, the Knights were able to deal with all that Ampthill threw at them in the closing minutes.

Whilst it was a bonus point performance, there is still plenty to work on in terms of execution and management of discipline from Steve Boden’s side – things which they will surely look to work on before the Championship Cup competition begins next week with Coventry travelling to Castle Park.

Match Statistics

Knights XV | 15 Harry Davey; 14 George Simpson, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Ben Carlile, 2 Will Holling, 3 Jake Armstrong, 4 Ehize Ehizode, 5 Ben Murphy, 6 Martin Sigren, 7 Sam Daly, 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Mak Wilson, 19 Evan Mintern, 20 John Kelly, 21 Joe Green, 22 Jack Spittle, 23 Jared Cardew.

Tries: Holling, Margetts, Daly, Holden, Kelly

Cons: Dolly 5


Ampthill XV | 15 Tom Bacon; 14 Conor Rankin, 13 Charlie Hudson, 12 Josh Bragman, 11 Josh Skelcey; 10 Gwyn Parks, 9 Peter White; 1 Michael Jones, 2 Beck Cutting, 3 Aleki Lutui, 4 Charlie Beckett, 5 Harry Wilson, 6 Caleb Montgomery, 7 Joe Bercis, 8 Morgan Strong.

Replacements | 16 Matt Gallagher, 17 Jake Ellwood, 18 Joe Sproston, 19 Llewelyn Jones, 20 Cai Devine, 21 Lewis Finlay, 22 Thom Hudson, 23 Will Partington.

Tries: Lutui, Strong, Devine

Cons: Rankin, Partington 

Yellow card: Charlie Beckett, Josh Bragman, Harry Wilson


Referee: Joe James

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