Ashington’s spirit not enough to overcome Sunderland

Ashington’s recent run of good form was halted at fifth placed Sunderland on Saturday as they went down 24-13.

The visitors went into the game looking to further distance themselves from the bottom two places.

The first ten minutes was even until Ashington full-back Dodds gathered an attempted clearance kick from Sunderland on the halfway line. He immediately attacked their defence, beating four defenders before being hauled down five metres short of the line and Ash were awarded a penalty from the resulting ruck in front of the posts, which Nichol converted for a 3-0 lead.

But Sunderland hit back with two converted tries in the following ten minutes, one through their forwards and the second as a result of a missed tackle in Ashington’s backs.

On the half hour Ashington scored an excellent try following quick handling and an outstanding finish by winger Cory Whitworth, showing real speed and good footwork. The conversion attempt went wide.

Again Sunderland hit back when their forwards drove over the line from a well worked lineout to take the score to 19-8.

Just before half-time Ash scrum-half Nichol made another good break down the right but could not get the inside pass back to Whitworth who would have been in for his second try.

Ashington faced the wind in the second half but kept up the pressure on the home team to the extent that it was 25 minutes into the second half before Sunderland got into Ashington’s 22-metre area with most of the play being in Sunderland’s half.

However, they did make this rare attack count with another try through their forwards.

Ashington finished the final ten minutes again in the Sunderland 22 and were rewarded with a try when flanker Dickinson crashed over to make the final score 24-13.

Ashington can count themselves unlucky not to have earned a bonus point from the match and again they showed great spirit throughout.

Ashington’s second XV recorded a fine home win over Ponteland, winning 42-3.