8 December 2022
Loan pitch time
Tom Hitchcock (centre) made his first appearance for Ampthill in the Championship over the weekend, accompanied by Senior Academy star Alex Harmes in a home match-up with Hartpury University.
Hitchcock earned 20 minutes off the bench in the 20-12 loss for the Bedfordshire outfit, archetypally carrying well complete with sound distribution, whilst the winger completed the full 80 minutes.
Despite coming out on the wrong side of the result, Harmes’ individual brilliance shone through with a solo score from 60 metres out, additionaly competent in defence.
Also running out in the Championship was Joe Vajner (hooker) for nearby Richmond, demonstrating his physicality off the ball in his half hour off the bench in a 34-19 loss away to Jersey Reds.
In the division below, National League 1, Jack Walsh (centre) and Ben Atkins (back-row) each earned a full 80 against Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire, with the hosts coming out 38-30 victors.
Walsh’s ball threat in carrying and handling caused problems for the opposition, in one instance beating a defender and making a clean break whilst consistently offloading to Esher support lines.
A penalty turnover won at the breakdown was a highlight for Atkins, who imposed himself out of possession with Esher sitting nine points ahead of last-placed Hull in the division.
For Esher’s second side, Irish sent out four Academy representatives from their forwards stocks, Afolabi Fasogbon (prop), Calum Scott (hooker), Oliver Stirling (back-row) and Oran Murphy (prop) all playing against Bishop Stortford’s seconds.
The team claimed a strong 34-26 win with the aid of the Exiles; Fasogbon making an impact in defence at the set piece with Stirling also notable at the scrum, even going on to chip the ball over the opposing full-back!
Front-row forward Murphy’s foresight and handling enabled his fellow teammates into gaps in the opposition’s defensive line, whilst Scott staked his claim for the first team set-up, propelling the team forward in carrying and aiding in Esher’s put-ins also.
Back to the third tier, Rams rekindled their partnership with Ollie Allan (scrum-half) and Lucas Brooke (back-row), but the Reading outfit fell to their first defeat in 12 this season at home to Sale FC.
Despite the game finishing up 27-24 to the Mancunians, Allan’s accuracy in the pass keeping Rams ticking over with Brooke having a strong cameo as a finisher with notable physicality, as the youngster builds back his strength from an enforced lengthy time off due to injury.
Rosslyn Park maintained the services of Monty Bradbury (fly-half) in a home whitewash of Taunton Titans, winning 52-0 to solidify their fourth-place standing in National League 1.
Bradbury played 30 minutes as a replacement, distributing commendably in possession and maintaining a high tempo as one of Kieran Power’s substitutes.
Rounding off this week’s loan time, George Makepeace-Cubitt lined up for Barnes in National League 2 against league leaders Blackheath.
The full-back beat defenders in counter-attacking phases, complemented with handy tactical kicking on a tough afternoon for the Londoners, who sit fifth in the Nat 2 rungs after a 36-5 loss.
Bishop Wand School finished of their 2022 RFU ACE League with a 27-17 against Gosforth (Newcastle ACE), finishing third in the final standings of the league.
A second-half procession from the young Exiles saw replacement Ed Bachelor add to a Sam Rockley try hattrick, Kian Norval contributing seven points from the boot and Louie Heard two in the win in Cheltenham.
Bishop Wand School
15 Martin Betsen, 14 Sam Rockley, 13 Theo Williamson, 12 Ben Bysouth, 11 Elijah Green, 10 Louie Heard, 9 Rourke Flecker-Lister; 1 Kamron Greenaway, 2 Martin Chalmers, 3 Brandon Vince, 4 Will Saunders, 5 Milo Bourguignon, 6 Archie Cleeve, 7 Fin Worley-Brady (c), 8 Ralph McEachran.
16 Mario Ikuomola-Andre, 17 George Goodridge, 18 Ollie Game, 19 Ciaran Thomas, 20 Ed Bachelor, 21 Michael Morgan, 22 Kian Norval, 23 Max Winters.