Darlington RFC 32-35 Ashington RFC
Ashington were forced to defend for the first 15 minutes before a break by skipper Storey led to a try by scrum half Arkle who ghosted over from a ruck seven metres out.
Just five minutes later, Dodds crossed for the first of his three tries after a good line out and quick hands from the Ashington backs.
After 25 minutes, Darlington got their only first half score from a quickly taken tap penalty, but Ash immediately bounced back when a break by Jarvis set up a five-metre scrum and at the second attempt, Newman used his strength to drive over for a deserved try.
Ashington’s next try came from a sweeping move started deep inside their own 22 by Dodds and Tuck. Henderson, following in support, broke through the middle on a 40-metre run to set up a ruck. Quick hands from Johnson and Storey combined to create space for Merryweather to cut inside and cross for Ashington’s fourth try.
The final try came on the stroke of half-time with an excellent Dodds 70-metre individual score under the posts, Jarvis missing the simple conversion.
Ash, with a 5-27 half-time lead, started the second half too casually and Darlington took full advantage, scoring two early tries before Henderson and Jarvis combined to rip free a Darlington ball and set Dodds away who beat two defenders to cross for his hat-trick try.
Darlington added two further tries to make the score 27-32 going into the last 10 minutes, but the visitors had regained their focus and a Jarvis penalty settled the victory with Darlington’s final try coming too late.
Dodds was man-of-the-match for his hat-trick, but all the players contributed positively for an away win.
This weekend Ashington are at home to Sunderland, KO 2.15pm.