Ashington RFC lose on the road despite battling display right to the end

Ashington travelled to Horden and Peterlee at the tail end of Storm Babet for the first league fixture between the two clubs for more than 12 years.
Ashington RFC played Horden & Peterlee for the first time in more than 12 years.Ashington RFC played Horden & Peterlee for the first time in more than 12 years.
Ashington RFC played Horden & Peterlee for the first time in more than 12 years.

On a heavy, wet pitch the home side dominated early possession with Ashington absorbing the pressure until an infringement led to a penalty, which the home side converted. Shortly afterwards, a strong drive from the forwards led to Ashington crossing the try line, but unfortunately they were unable to ground the ball.

After 23 minutes and following an offside infringement, Horden’s goalkicker kicked a second penalty to give his team a 6-0 lead.

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As the game progressed, Ashington’s lineout struggled to function consistently and consequently opportunities to provide their backs with possession were missed. Matters were made more tricky when the referee judged centre Alex Stott to have made a high tackle and he was sin binned for 10 minutes. Despite being down to 14 men, winger John Tuck made a superb 50-metre break only to tackled five metres out.

As the half drew to a close, some fine handling in the backs enabled Horden to score to give them a 11-0 lead.

Early pressure in the second half and effective recycling of the ball led to a second Horden try, which was converted. Now with their tails up, the well drilled home side added a third try with a pick and drive from the base of the scrum. The conversion took the score to 23-0 after 60 minutes.

Facing an uphill struggle with only 20 minutes left, Ashington dug deep and following a period of sustained pressure, Tuck went over in the corner. The subsequent conversion was added by captain Jonny Arkle. Somewhat against the run of play at this point, the Horden scrum half kicked a long ball down field which danced inches inside the touchline and winning the race for the line crossed over in the corner to take the score to 28-7.

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Determined to finish strongly, Ashington worked their way up field, and good work from the backs saw fullback Tom Halliwell cross the line to take the score to 28-12. Keeping up the momentum, Ashington chose to run a penalty and, after spreading the ball wide, winger Jake Eagle went over to take the score to 28-17, which was the final score.

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