Narrow one point home defeat for Ashington
Ashington 15-16 Darlington
Darlington started the stronger of the two teams with Ashington forced to defend against the bigger Darlington pack.
The visitors took the lead with a penalty after 7 minutes and then extended their lead after 16 minutes with a Probert try in the corner magnificently converted from the touchline to give Darlington a 0-10 lead.
Ash began to win some ball and fought their way back into the game and replacement Newman who came on after 35 minutes made a positive impact with his ball carrying. Just before half time fly half Johnny Storey with a piece of individual magic broke blind and sidestepped through the gap, he then powered through the covering defence and sprinted over for an excellent individual 50 meter try converted by Mckay to give a 7-10 half time score.
An inspired man of the match Storey started the second half with another excellent clean break and, with only the full back to beat, his perfectly timed pass saw supporting scrum half Arkle out strip the cover to score wide out and give Ashington a 12-10 lead.
Ash then had their best spell which featured strong runs from Newman, Rutherford and Moffatt and a Jarvis break, unfortunately this spell was interspersed with two well struck Darlington penalties which meant the visitors lead 15-16 with 20 minutes to go.
Both sides had opportunities to win the game and Ashington finished the stronger against a tiring Darlington pack. A Mckay penalty went wide, a good lineout steal by Butler and run by Whitworth kept up the pressure but Ashington couldn’t grab the winning score their late rally deserved.
Ashington 2s had an excellent 40 point away win at Gateshead