Nottingham’s first league game of the 2019/20 season ended with a bonus point victory over new-comers Ampthill.
On 8 minutes, when following up a clearance kick, Lynch was adjudged to have dangerously impeded the Nottingham receiver and was given a 10 minute rest in the bin as a result.
Further disruption for Ampthill followed in the 15 minute when Bordoli also left the field with an ankle injury. His replacement, Josh Sharp, moved to fly half with Louis Grimoldby moving to full back.
On 18 minutes Ampthill infringed at a breakdown and the resulting penalty goal was well struck by Nottingham fly half Tommy Mathews. Immediately from the kick off the visitors were likewise penalised, Grimoldby making no mistake from the tee in the 19th minute.
Deep in their own half on 21 minutes the home side were awarded a free kick from a Nottingham scrum infringement. Unfortunately, Grimoldby started his run up, suffered a bit of brain fade and allowed himself to be charged down. Nottingham’s subsequent line out catch & drive was followed by multiple phases leading to a try credited to hooker Luke Cole, converted by Mathews.
On 27 minutes a kick tennis exchange ended with an excellent punt from the visitors forcing Amps wing Sam Baker carry into touch on his own 5m line. Nottingham’s line out catch & drive was held up but multiple phases ensued and poor A’s defence led to a visitors try from close range by lock Llewelyn Jones with Mathews adding the extras.
The hosts responded with their best period of play so far, keeping possession inside the Nottingham half. Another breakdown infringement in the 31st minute by the visitors saw Grimoldby successful with the resulting penalty kick.
The home side continued in similar vein pressurising the visitors ball carriers into a mistake, Hanks took advantage intercepting a loose pass running 40m to score wide on the left, Grimoldby’s touchline conversion was greeted with a loud cheer and left the score 13-17 after 38 minutes.
Just before half time, Ampthill were unable to clear their line from the restart leading to a breakdown penalty with the tackler not rolling away. Nottingham’s penalty was kicked deep inside Amps 22.
Nottingham were ruthless, another kick to the corner followed by a line out catch & drive which resulted in a try by converted by Mathews.
That left the score 13-24 at oranges which was a fair reflection of the superiority of a well drilled and skilful Nottingham side.
The hosts started the second half still down a man but managed to keep Nottingham at bay until Kerry’s return restored the home side to a full complement on 48 minutes.
The 49th minute saw Ampthill rightly penalised for going off side with Mathews, whose goal kicking was immaculate, successful with the penalty goal. Just 1 minute later another poor show of discipline saw Amps interfere at a break down and Mathews extend the lead further with another penalty goal.
On 51 minutes A’s 3rd yellow card of the day was awarded for a deliberate knock by flanker Joe Bercis who had previously been penalised for the same offence.
On sixty minutes with Nottingham in the middle third of the field a lovely grubber kick gathered by their left wing took the game away from the hosts leaving the score 13-37.
The home side raised their game leading to Kpoku (dual registered with Saracens) forceing his way over the line from close range on 63 minutes, Grimoldby adding the extras.
On 71 minutes Kerry earnt a second yellow card which, of course, became red. The result was Nottingham camped in Amps half battering away at a tiring defence.
Despite the fatigue, A’s defence was holding strong and a couple of turnovers gave them the chance to their lines but they continued to attempt to break out of the 22 finally gifting the visitors a try which was converted with the last kick of the game leaving the score 20-44.