Ashington rugby win away to Whitby

Whitby 23Ashington RFC 36Ashington 1sts kicked off 2022 with a good away win at Whitby.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 10th January 2022, 10:35 am

The Northumbrians started strongly and a good kick by Jarvis set an attacking line out in the Whitby 22. Henderson drove on from the lineout to set up a ruck 5m out from which Chris Jonta Johnson drove over for Ashingtons first try.

After nine minutes an Arkle break was supported by Weeks who crossed for a try converted by Arkle to give Ash an early 0-12 lead.

Ash allowed Whitby back into the game with the home side taking advantage of poor tackling to score two unconverted tries, and then, despite good work from Bell and Moffatt Ash were penalised at the ruck. Whitby kicked the penalty to give the home side a 13-12 half time lead.

Ash started the second half with real intensity, a good take by Moffatt set up a ruck, Weeks running strongly in the centre broke through and was supported by Merryweather, only for the ball to be lost at the breakdown.

Jordan Webster, who put in some strong second half runs, set up a ruck, and a 30m forward drive, and Ash piled on the pressure. Weeks was stopped just short of the line, Henderson was then penalised for a double movement as he reached for the try line, Johnson lost the ball with the try line beckoning, replacement prop Brierley was stopped just short of the line and then Merryweather was deemed held up over the try line. It was surely just a matter of time before Ash scored, and it was a typical Weeks charge which resulted in the ball being spread wide and Connor Nichol raced in to score, Arkle adding the conversion.

More replaced Moffatt, and from the restart Arkle broke the first of several attempted tackles as he set of on a 70m run that saw him cross for an excellent individual try, to give Ash a 13-24 lead.

Whitby then had a good spell of pressure, taking advantage when Ash were penalised at a ruck, to score in the corner.

Ash then had Jordan Webster sin binned, but despite being down to 14 men, played their best rugby of the game. Brierley drove out of defence and from the ruck the ball was swept into the centres, Weeks made a storming 40m break and timed his pass to the supporting Merryweather, who in turn drew the fullback and passed inside to Jack Taylor who raced clear to score under the posts, Arkle adding the conversion to give an 18 -31 score. Ash then added a further try when man of the match, Johnny Arkle scored his second try, before Whitby scored a late bonus point fourth try.

This was Ashington’s first game since December 4 and despite showing some signs of rust from the lay off this was an excellent victory and Ashington’s first win at Whitby in 17 years.

Ashington 2nds completed a great start to the year with a 29 -17 win over Tynedale 3rds.

This week Ashington are at home to Bishop Auckland, KO 2pm.