FOUR penalties from Ampthill’s Louis Grimoldby proved decisive as Coventry were handed a 19-17 defeat on their return to Greene King IPA Championship action.
It was a disappointing start to 2020 for Rowland Winter’s side, who initially went in front at Dillingham Park before succumbing to the hosts – who stole victory when Grimoldby’s penalty flew between the posts with the last kick of the game.
Coventry’s Andy Bulumakau went over in the corner to open the scoring following good work between Joe Buckle and James Voss, though Tony Fenner’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
A second try was registered by Max Trimble, allowing Fenner to redeem his earlier miss and add to the visitors’ lead.
While Coventry continued to dominate the proceedings, they were unable to add to their lead as the hosts held firm.
Ampthill found some reprieve towards the end of the first half when Grimoldby scored his first penalty of the game, before adding the extras to Syd Blackmore’s try to cut the deficit at the break.
After proceedings became stagnant, it took two penalties in the space of four minutes from Grimoldby for the lead to change hands.
Now trailing 16-12, Coventry were forced to go on the offensive, something which they found success in when James Gibbons claimed try number three after two Ampthill players had been sent to the sin bin.
The narrow advantage seemed enough to earn the visitors a fifth win of the campaign, until Ampthill countered and then snatched victory and the points when Grimoldby struck with a late penalty.
Fifth-placed Coventry host London Scottish, who are seventh, on Saturday (3pm).