Ashington’s enthusiasm and commitment unrewarded

Ashington were unlucky to lose their game against Bishop Auckland that, if based on enthusiasm and sheer commitment, they would have won.

The home side, playing a running game, made a promising start and had much of the early attacking play only for the visitors to score two converted tries on 15 and 18 minutes to give them a healthy lead against the run of play.

Ashington fought back strongly and after a side-stepping run by left winger Cory Whitworth, right winger Ryan Dodds took off on a brilliant 50-metre run to score their first try.

They then spurned several kickable penalties when going for goal seemed the more sensible option.

The home side began what turned out to be an entertaining second half 14-5 down.

Both sides tried to play running rugby, but great defence in particular by the new centre combination of Nathan Whitworth and James Jones looked solid, which meant visiting attacks were quickly snuffed out.

Ash were unable to turn their good attacking positions into points and missed four kickable second half penalties as they swapped kickers.

Midway through the second half Bishop took advantage of a disjointed Ashington and the referee then missed the grounding of the ball behind the try line by scrum-half Connor Nichol and awarded a try to Bishop, extending their lead to 16 points.

Ash continued to put pressure on and a great try by Nichol, who had an excellent game, gave the home side hope entering into the final ten minutes.

But Ashington ended up rueing those earlier missed opportunities as the clock ran out on the game for a 21-10 final score in favour of Bishop Auckland.

This was Ashington’s best performance of the season, and if they play the rest of the campaign with this level of commitment, they can pull themselves out of relegation trouble.

On Saturday Ashington are away to Hartlepool.