Much-changed Ashington rugby lose away to Redcar

Redcar 36Ashington RFC 7Once again Ashington travelled with a much changed team, missing a number of first team regulars on Saturday.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 14th February 2022, 11:29 am
Updated Monday, 14th February 2022, 11:31 am

From kick off, no Ashington player claimed the bouncing ball immediately putting themselves under pressure, Redcar taking full advantage to cross for an early try after a couple of attacking rucks.

Ash were playing with a strong diagonal wind largely behind them and after 10 minutes scored their only try, Liam Hart hitting a great line to crash through a gap and score near the posts, skipper Arkle adding the conversion to give Ash a two point lead.

Ash proceeded to dominate the next 20 minutes but butchered a number of try scoring opportunities. On one such occasion an interception saw Redcar go the length of the field to score a second unconverted try giving the home side a 10-7 lead.

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Ash were then forced to defend the final minutes, Redcar successfully using a pick and drive game against the wind to drive Ash back before an under pressure Ash were awarded a penalty near their own try line. Ash were then penalised trying to run out of defence, even though they had the strong following wind, Redcar taking full advantage to extend their lead to 17-7 at half time.

Ash replaced Tom Higham at half time with Gareth Newman, Tom Clarke moving into the front row.

Ash tried to continue to play their expansive running game, but took a number of wrong options, whereas the home side took full advantage of the following diagonal wind, turning defence into attack on a number of occasions with long clearing kicks and attacking kicks into the corner. Ash also lost Clarke and Merryweather, two of their better players through injury as the home side added three second half scores, giving Redcar a deserved win.

Ash struggled to play a cohesive game, failed to adapt their style to the gale force conditions and struggled to cope with so many regulars missing. Bell and Nichol showed flashes of pace on the wings, with Clark, Webster and Howie the pick of the forwards and Liam Hart looking like a useful addition to the squad

Ashington 2s produced a strong second half performance but sadly lost their unbeaten run with Alnwick 3s.