Biggleswade 3rd XV score four past local rivals10th January 2018
Biggleswade 3rd XV 20 – 48 Ampthill Extras
Having been lift in limbo after crimbo following Cheshunt’s postponing of the intended league fixture, Biggleswade 3s welcomed Ampthill Extras to Langford Road, and were keen run off some of the holiday excess.
The team assembled slowly, spending time discussing yuletide activities and working out who would be playing what position. In stark contrast, Ampthill were taking part in a rigorous warm up which helped to ensure that they won the opening exchanges and scored the first try. It wasn’t long until the visitors scored their second with Biggleswade caught napping at a quick tap penalty. Conceding two early tries gave Biggleswade 3s the wakeup call needed to up their game.
Having worked their way into the Ampthill half, quick ball allowed Dave Neale- who had several strong carries throughout the game- to charge through the line. Having got on the front foot, the ball was quickly spread wide via a rare one-handed tap on from Jack Unite, the ball made its way through two Daves’ hands and, with work still to do, Stuart Puttock went over.
The rest of the half saw Biggleswade continue to improve, looking dangerous with ball in hand and at the breakdown. Ampthill, however, benefited from being the better drilled side – evidenced in one of their tries which saw a lineout set play followed up by a back of the hand inside ball – something more likely to be seen on the Langford Road first team pitch. This, alongside several Biggleswade errors, allowed the visitors to extend their lead.
At half time, despite being behind, Biggleswade were positive about their performance against a stronger side. The pack also took the water break as a chance to change tactics from going for turnover ball to being more physical at ruck time. This meant the start of the second half was much more of an arm wrestle, with Ampthill finding it harder to score as Biggleswade made fewer errors and gained the upper hand at the breakdown.
10 minutes into the second half the 3s were able get a score back. Despite another new combination at lineout time, Biggleswade’s maul proved to be a potent weapon with several drives throughout the game causing Ampthill problems. It was to be a maul which laid the platform for Tudo Scheibner to break out and score after several drives from the pack.
Having just scored, Biggleswade would’ve been forgiven for lapsing back into this season’s bad habit of dropping off the tempo in the last 20 minutes. Instead the 3s were as desperate for the next score as they were for a second helping of pigs in blankets.
The next try came from the backs and forwards combining. After Dave Leslie trucked it up the middle he managed to get an arm free to pop the ball to the supporting Kyle Loan, bursting into the 22 and bumping off both the opposition 8 and 15 before gracing the whitewash. The 3s could’ve scored again after another maul saw Dave Neale splinter off down the 5 metre channel and dive over. Getting up with a smile, only beaten by that seen at his recent wedding, he found his try ruled out for a foot in touch.
Ampthill were to get another score after this as Biggleswade’s legs began to tire. However with around 5 minutes left on the clock, the 3s were determined to both keep the opposition to below 50, and also take the last score.
Inside the Ampthill 22 Jimmy Hart took the ball back towards the forwards and set up a ruck. With the team lining up on the openside and opposition defenders distracted, Dave Tysom hit up the blindside showing his strength by brushing off two defenders with one particular player thrown down with as much distain as yet another pair of socks unwrapped at Christmas.
Biggleswade saw out the remaining minutes to prevent Ampthill from reaching the half century. Despite the scoreboard showing a loss, the 3s should be proud of the effort and skill they showed throughout the game. Against a well-drilled side at times they looked the better side just lacking match practice. With several players due to return ready for the game against Hitchin Biggleswade 3s will look to build on the four tries they scored in their first outing and continue with the month of Tryanuary.
Tries; S Puttock, T Scheibner, K Loan, D Tysom
Biggy 3s: D Howell, J Unite, Roger Arnold , I Flack, D Neale, T Scheibner, L Panton, K Loan; D Tysom, J Hart, S Puttock, D Dawes, D Leslie, G Jones, J Grabowski