Ashington beaten by the league leaders in excellent game of running rugby

Ashington lost to the league leaders Horden & Peterlee.Ashington lost to the league leaders Horden & Peterlee.
Ashington lost to the league leaders Horden & Peterlee.
Ashington played the league leaders Horden & Peterlee on Saturday, scoring two tries in an excellent game of running rugby by both sides.

Ashington started strongly and on four minutes great hands created space for Jack Taylor to race in from 20 metres. Skipper Johnny Arkle added the conversion.

Two huge Arkle 50-22 cross-field kicks kept the pressure on the visitors and the one Horden attack was snuffed out by an excellent Jonathan McNickle tackle.

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Ashington then lost Mathew Webster to injury, replaced by the experienced Jonta Johnson.

Adam Junk and Joseph Fearns both made breaks, and a fantastic Arkle chip and catch set up another period of pressure, with the front three of Brierley, Damian Martinez and Greg Henderson all being stopped short by the magnificent Horden defence.

Horden fought their way back into the game and after a couple of Fearns and Arkle tackles they broke blind from an attacking scrum, and from a series of rucks went over for a try wide out, to give a 7-5 scoreline with five minutes of the half remaining.

Ashington bounced straight back and a Alex Stott break was halted with a no arms tackle. Ashington ran the penalty only for Arkle to be hit with another no arms tackle, Arkle opting to kick the penalty to give Ashington a 10-5 half-time lead.

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The visitors started the second half strongly and five minutes into the half Stott was yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on 10 metres from the Ashington try line, Horden kicking the penalty.

Horden then took advantage of the extra man to break down the left, a chip inside saw the Horden winger race under the posts to score a converted try, Ashington losing winger Taylor in the process. Having already lost McNickle to injury, this caused a reshuffle of the back line, with Alex Clark making his home debut, Fearns moving to the wing and Harry Lumley coming into the back row.

Horden always looked dangerous and extended their lead with a well taken try after a period of pressure.

Ashington bounced straight back and winger Ewan Dodgson was tackled just short of the line. Ashington were awarded a penalty which they ran, and from the ruck Brierley forced his way over for a try. Arkle converted to see the game end 17-23.

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