CALDY suffered their first defeat of 2023 going down 26-32 in a fast paced Championship Cup match at Ampthill on Saturday, with a much changed side from the team that beat Bedford Blues last week.

It was the home side who came out firing in the first half and scored the try bonus point after the opening quarter hour.

The first try came after great play in the Ampthill forward line by Lewis Finlay allowing Joe Sproston to dive over. The second try came almost immediately after the restart after Alex Harmes intercepted the ball on the halfway line and ran in under the posts to the delight of the Dillingham Park crowd.

The third try came from a lineout on the five metre line, and from the resulting maul Syd Blackmore was able to scramble the ball over.

The bonus point was secured with only 14 minutes on the clock after George Worth broke through the centre and played a great pass to Finlay.

An Ampthill defensive mistake allowed Lewis Barker in to score his first try in more than three years to the delight of the travelling fans.

The home side bounced back again with the try of the game as man of the match Ollie Hartley picked up the ball on halfway and avoided a number of Caldy tackles to score the home sides fifth of the afternoon.

Caldy scored a second on the stroke of half time when Mike Cartmill went over after great work by the Caldy backs.

Caldy had more of the game in the second half thanks to a number of tactical changes from the Wirral side.

The momentum was with Caldy and when they were awarded a penalty try just before the hour mark and it looked as though an unlikely comeback could be on.

The visitors were unlucky with the final ball on a number of occasions in the final quarter hour but they were rewarded with a bonus point try from Cartmill after three great phases stretching the length of the pitch.

Having collected two points Caldy now sit 3rd in group C, however with Cornish Pirates beating Richmond in the other match in the group it is increasingly difficult for the Ravers to qualify for the semi final in May.

The Championship Cup continues this week as Caldy make the 376 mile trip down to Cornwall on Saturday. Caldy last played in Cornwall in the Intermediate Cup in 2007.