Blaydon recover to secure bonus point – Blaydon 12. Ampthill 19

Having played second fiddle in a disappointing first half in which they conceded 19 points unanswered Blaydon were transformed after the break and had enough possession to have gone on and won it. Unfortunately some poor handling let them down but a typical Jason Smithson effort reduced the deficit and in the closing minutes a barnstorming run by winger Frazer Wilson secured the losing bonus point they so richly deserved.
It was all Ampthill at the outset and no surprise when their forwards stormed into the 22 to set up a score for Elliott Clements-Hill in the 6th minute. Elliot Reeder converted and the same combination struck again on the half-hour when Blaydon won the ball in the tackle but failed to secure it and the quick thinking Clements-Hill nipped in to pick up and cross unchallenged
Blaydon continued to defend stoutly but were breached again with another soft effort when, not for the first time, they lost their line-out ball and Ampthill scrum-half Gavin Williams was allowed to race clear to score in the corner.
Nineteen points adrift at the interval and nowhere to go – or so it seemed. Within a minute of the restart scrum-half Nathan Horsfall had ran from his own 22 and over half-way to put them on the offensive for the first time in the game and they never looked back.
Two rolling mauls took them deep into the 22 and from the second No.8 Smithson got the touch, his 9th of the season, and Andrew Baggett added a fine conversion.
Despite their best efforts the ball just would not stay in hand and time was running out when Wilson stepped in with the try of the game. Another rolling maul was coming to a halt when they let it out and moved it quickly through the hands to the far side.
The winger was away, weaving in and out to leave 3 defenders for dead and storm through the final tackle and clinch the vital point.

John Brennan