Cowen darts in as Ionians surge back to top at Ampthill’s expense

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HULL Ionians edged to a 7-6 win over promotion rivals Ampthill.

Ionians, who had led the table for much of the season until a postponement two weeks ago saw Ampthill overtake them, surged back to the top and lead by two points with a game in hand.

Ampthill got off the mark early on with stand-off Joe Tarrant kicking a penalty from 30 yards.

The only try came after 49 minutes through Ionians flanker Laurence Cowen, who latched on to the ball as it quickly exited the scrum before crossing for a try which Chris Reakes converted to put his side 7-3 ahead.

Just after the hour mark, Ampthill added a second penalty, this time through Elliot Clements-Hill, but it was not quite enough.

Hull lost 53-22 to hosts Stourbridge, but took a bonus point for their four catch-and-drive tries.

No 8 Olly Cook scored for Hull in the first half but Stourbridge led 36-5 at the break.

Second-row Adam Cornish scored in similar style on 54 minutes and again on 74 minutes, but at 43-15 the win was already out of reach.

Second-row Rob Devonshire scored the final try in stoppage-time to seal a bonus point, Greg Lound converting.

Otley scored six tries in a 
40-21 win at Luctonians.

No 6 Tom O’Donnell soon crossed for Otley and, after Luctonians hooker Jordan Street’s try had been converted by centre Geraint Langdon, they settled down to add five more tries, scrum-half Stephen Depledge, after failing with his first attempt, converting each.

James White and Sam Cook crossed before Luctonians full-back Will Burton brought the score back to 19-14.

A 44th-minute try from centre Jack Mackie was quickly answered by one from winger Adam Knight, duly converted but Otley made sure with tries from Roberts and No 8 Freddie Watson.

Huddersfield launched a second-half fightback to earn a 24-17 win at home to Caldy.

It was a fourth successive win for Huddersfield, who took an early lead with a try from winger Elliot Knight but the visitors led 17-5 at the interval with two converted tries in six minutes.

Huddersfield came out fighting and pulled a try back when second- row Austin Thompson crashed over and scrum-half Joel Hinchliffe converted to make it 17-12. The scores were level on 52 minutes thanks to a try by right-wing Tom Hodson out wide.

The breakthrough finally came five minutes from the end when captain Nick Sharp drove over to touch down, leaving Hinchliffe to convert a bonus-point try and keep the run of victories rolling.