Blyth run in four tries in shut-out win over Ashington
Saturday's local derby between Blyth and Ashington had been eagerly awaited by the home side who had suffered two previous defeats this season from the visitors.
Blyth were able to select from their strongest squad this season, and the Plessey Road pitch and weather all combined to provide an entertaining game.
The home side started the strongest and pressured Ashington with strong running and some good tactical kicking.
The visitors were forced into conceding several penalties, Andy Sutherland kicked one from two, and after a third penalty pushed the ball to the corner where, from the lineout, a clean catch and drive saw Blyth captain Karl Rose crash over for the game’s opening try, converted by Sutherland.
Blyth continue to dominate the first half despite strong defence from Ashington, and in a carbon copy move, another catch and drive from a lineout saw Rose score his second try to make the half-time score of 15-0.
The second half started with Blyth again on the attack, however, the visitors came out with more determination, unfortunately this resulted in a series of flare-ups as players on both sides vented their frustration. The referee, who controlled the game with a level of common sense, spoke to both captains, however, an Ashington player ended up with ten minutes in the sin bin.
The home side put a flowing move together to put speedy winger Fraser Tarn-Chapman in at the corner, and after a series of close scrums on the Ashington line, Blyth elected for the points from another Sutherland penalty.
A moment of madness from one of the Ashington players, left the referee will little option but to show a red card and they down to 14 for the remainder of the game.
Blyth went on to score the elusive bonus point try when influential centre Sutherland took the final pass to dive over with minutes on the clock.
Man of the match for Blyth was young second row forward Chris McGlen, who worked hard all day with ball in hand, and was one of the top tacklers on the field.