Match Reports

Jersey Reds 43 Ampthill & District 15


The Reds held their nerve in recovering from an early wobble to cruise to the victory over Ampthill that delivered the RFU Championship title to a small island in the English Channel.

In completing a league campaign that was by far their best effort in the second tier, the Reds lost just one of 22 games and racked up a total of 100 points to finish two clear of Ealing Trailfinders.

Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon was struggling for words after seeing his ninth season in charge of the Reds finish with silverware being hoisted skywards, fireworks going off and Champagne being sprayed.

He said: “It’s crazy to think how we’ve reached this stage, and today the whole squad really delivered when they needed to.
“There was a huge amount of pressure on the team, and for them to come through was sensational – you have to roll with the punches across a season and that’s what the club has done.”

Opponents Ampthill were determined to try and spoil the party, and a try in the first minute by scrum-half Lewis Finlay gave his side an early lead and stunned the home crowd.

Skippers Lewis Wynne and Charlie Beckett were involved in an early skirmish and soon afterwards a trio of penalties in quick succession saw the visitors down to 14 men as Beckett, playing the pantomime villain to perfection, saw yellow.

The Reds responded with quick tries from Eoghan Clarke and Tomi Lewis to take the lead. Will Brown’s acrobatic finish and a close-range effort from Huw Owen meant a bonus point was secured, but not yet victory, with Tom Hardwick keeping his side with a penalty.

The second half started well as Russell Bennett’s 50:22 led to a try for Brendan Owen, but Ampthill weren’t inclined to roll over and claimed a second try through Alex Harmes.

It was only during the final quarter, with Ampthill once again down to 14 after Josh Bragman was sin-binned for slowing the ball down illegally, that the home side could start to prepare to celebrate. Front row replacements James Hadfield and Adam Nicol powered over, and Bennett’s two conversions against his old club left the result in no doubt.

After watching the trophy presentation to one of his former clubs, Beckett said: “We got stuck in from the start – it was an incredibly physical game, but Jersey came good in the end and they are well-deserved champions.”

Pic by Rich Chapman (three albums of match pics may be found HERE)

JERSEY REDS: B Owen; Lewis, McHenry (Nicol 65), Barnes (Holgate 55), Brown (Woollett 58); Bennett, Elliott (Mitchell 58); H Owen (Grahamslaw 47), Clarke (Hadfield 55), Longwell, O’Connor (Scott 7) Cook, Argyle (Lawrence 55), Wynne (c), Dun.

AMPTHILL: Bacon; Rankin (Skelcey 68), Hitchcock, Parks, Harmes; Hardwick (Bragman 55, YC 64), Finlay (Williams 55); Crean (Hardman 50), Gallagher (Blackmore 50), Lutui (Warren 50), Beckett (c) (YC 7, Devine 68), Wilson, Brown, Smart (Ryan 16), Strong.

Referee: Mike Hudson. Assistants: Veryan Boscawen, Lionel Spooner
Half Time: 24-10
Attendance: 2,767

Jersey Reds
Tries: Clarke 9, Lewis 14, Brown 24, H Owen 39, B Owen 47, Hadfield 65, Nicol 70
Conversions: Bennett 9, 14, 65, 70

Tries: Finlay 1, Harmes 57
Conversion: Hardwick 1
Penalty: Hardwick 11





12 Oct 2023


Why not come and chillout in the ‘Watering Hole’ before the game? A full-bar and food is available and you can enjoy some live music after the game.

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