Ashington failed to recover from a poor start in a home defeat to Darlington on Saturday.
The home side were 18 points down after 30 minutes to a big Darlington side as they conceded three soft tries and a penalty, they also lost Iain Menzies to a hamstring injury.
Ashington began to claw their way back into the game and had a period of sustained pressure in the final ten minutes of the first half and a sweeping move on the stroke of half-time saw Ryan Dodds swerving outside his marker to score.
They started the second half strongly, but a knock-on from an attacking scrum allowed Darlington to clear.
Then an attacking run by Dickinson, supported by Moffat, set up another attacking position in the Darlington 22. Acting skipper Nathan Whitworth’s powerful run took out three defenders and from the resultant ruck Jarvis was stopped five metres short, but the referee awarded Ashington a penalty. Scrum-half Arkle took full advantage to dive over for the home side’s second try to make it 18-10 to the visitors.
Darlington bounced backed and with 12 minutes left extended their lead with a well struck penalty.
This spurred on Ashington who lost another attacking lineout but continued to press, and as the ball was swept wide, Harrigan fed Dickinson who raced through the gap to score from 15 metres out, Jarvis added the conversion to set up an exciting last five minutes with only four points separating the sides.
Ash, however, couldn’t take advantage, with Darlington finishing the stronger and extending their lead with a further penalty.
Ashington need to find the commitment and drive they had in the first half of the season if they are going to beat local rivals Blyth at Plessey Road on Saturday and finish the season with a strong run in.