Ashington improve but luck evades them in defeat to Ponteland
Ashington produced their best display in a number of weeks but were desperately unlucky to lose a game they dominated for long periods.
Good early home pressure saw second row Michael Harrigan crash over for an early try.
Ponteland then had their best spell scoring a penalty and converted try to give them a 10-5 lead.
Ashington’s scrum and lineout play created a good platform, and when Ponteland had the ball, crunching tackles from Newman, Nathan Whitworth and Rosser stopped any threatening attacks.
From an attacking lineout a quick exchange of passes saw Whitworth drive over for a try converted by Jarvis to give Ashington a 12-10 half-time lead.
Jarvis extended the advantage just after half-time with a well taken penalty after good pressure.
Ponteland levelled the scores with a good catch and drive from a lineout.
Ashington reshuffled their team with Rosser moving to prop and Johnny Storey coming into the centre.
Storey made an immediate impact with a powerful run, which was carried on by Weeks, Moffat and Johnson, who was brought down with a high tackle ten metres out. Ashington’s quick tap penalty was driven back.
They continued to batter the Pont try line but great defence and a series of wrong decisions meant Ashington failed to cross for the score their pressure deserved.
After a period of sustained Ashington pressure, Pont broke almost the length of the field to be awarded a penalty which gave them an 18-15 lead.
They further extended their lead with a late try to give them a fortunate 25-15 advantage.
An exciting game was then marred by a skirmish that resulted in two red cards, one for each side bringing the total cards to three reds (one Ashington, two Ponteland) and three yellows, which did not reflect the attacking spirit most of the game had been played in.
With the final play of the game a sweeping 70-metre Ashington move saw Karl Anderson drive over for a deserved try converted by Jarvis, to give the home side a losing bonus point.
Ashington played with the passion and commitment that has been missing in the last few weeks and but for a couple of cool heads at key moments could have won the game.
On Saturday Ashington are away to Sedgefield.