League Top Point Scorer Blasts Sandbach
Remember the name, Elliott Clement-Hill! The young Ampthill Full-Back destroyed Sandbach with a virtuoso display of try scoring and kicking as he took 23 individual points on a day when the Bradwall Road team never seemed to get started. Ampthill are now 2nd in National League 3, equal on points and only separated from top spot by a marginal trying scoring difference.
Another fine day and big crowd at Bradwall Road saw Sandbach take on the team from Bedfordshire. Unfortunately Ampthill came out of the blocks like ‘Storm Sandy’ and just blew Sandbach away with the power of their forwards, the speed of their backs and an impressive defensive organisation that snuffed out any attempt by Sandbach to mount an effective response. Ampthill took their first points inside 6 minutes when big prop Joe Sproston was unstoppable from 5 metres out and EC-H took the extras. Over the next 30 minutes the game went from bad to worse as Sandbach’s normally reliable scrum was pushed all over the park, their line-out hardly won a thing and they missed far too many tackles. Worst perhaps was the Sandbach re-cycling game; Ampthill just seemed to steal possession at will as they turned over any attack that the ‘Greens’ managed to create. During this bleak period Sandbach conceded 3 tries, two from E C-H and all converted by him.
Gradually towards the end of the first half the home team began to realise that an embarrassing score was on the cards and they seemed to pull their socks up. Sandbach midfield of Will Cargill, Marcus Broad and Dan Massey tackled ferociously throughout the game and managed eventually to stem the tide and give Sandbach some possession. On the 38th minute Mark Bird made a braek from the ruck and executed another delightful reverse pass to Will Stockdale who took the ball on a charge and stepped (yes stepped!) two players to score under the posts. Cargill took the extras.
Leech congratulates Stockers for his try
In the second half Sandbach introduced Tom Austin in the back row and that certainly seemed to counter the Ampthill recycling game and give ‘T‘Bach’ more ball. With a better supply, eventual Sandbach Man of the Match, Marcus Broad began to show his running strength, as did ‘Mr Massey’ and the game became more balanced. Sandbach took the first points of the 2nd period as some clever close passing left Jack Leech with a gap enough to sprint through and score a good try. Cargill took the extras.
Two from two conversions for Cargs
Sandbach remained on top for the next 10 minutes and with the score at 14 : 29 a revival seemed on the cards. Cleverly Ampthill tightened up their game and kept the ball in the forwards, where despite an excellent performance (for his age) from Joel Unsworth they retained superiority. This change of tactic led to a pushover try on 62 minutes from Ampthill’s Mark Popham, converted by E C-H that effectively ended the contest.
Despite this Sandbach continued to fight and showed great individual effort and spirit, albeit without much structure. When a 3rd Sandbach try looked on the cards, Ampthill winger Kyle Palm, intercepted a ball inside his own 22 and sprinted the length of the pitch to put the final nail in the coffin. Inevitably E C-H scored the final 2 points. E C-H was awarded Ampthill Man of the Match by Colin Drew of Match Sponsors Brown and Corbishley.
There’s no doubt that Ampthill are a well drilled team, perhaps the best in the league, and deserved their win. Sandbach are also a very good side, but on the day struggled to put their game together and after the opening 30 minutes found themselves too far behind to really put pressure on the visitors.
Next weekend Sandbach 1XV will be training, whilst the 2XV and 3XV face Widnes and Warrington at Bradwall Road in the Raging Bull Jug and Bowl respectively. Sandbach 4XV travel to Wilmslow to play in the Plate competition. All games Kick Off at 2.15.