Ashington 41-36 Rockliffe
Ashington welcomed Rockliffe for the first home League match of the season and the visitors started strongly, carrying on from their fine away win at Darlington last week.
They quickly took a 10-0 lead within 10 minutes, scoring a penalty and converted try.
Ashington then mounted good pressure in the visitors 22 and Henderson went over for a try converted by Elliott. Jack Rutherford picked a great line to race 60m but the move ended in the Rockliffe 22 when a counter attack led to a Rockliffe try down the right with the conversion also successful for a 7-17 lead.
Ashington right winger, John Tuck, then scored a try and Elliott’s conversion attempt hit the upright and bounced out. Tuck then scored his second try only three minutes later from fully 60m out,stripping the visitors defence and Elliott converted for a 19-17 lead to Ashington with 30 minutes gone.
Ashington made enforced substitutions for blood injuries to Wood and Kerry with Harmer and Wilson coming on. Ashington secured their four try bonus point after good forward pressure with Harmer crossing for a try on 39 minutes, only for Rockliffe to strike back immediately with a try in the corner and a half time score of 24-22
Immediately from the start of the second half Ashington won a line-out just inside the visitors 22 and scrum half Arkle made a great break from the back of the line-out to score near the posts, again converted by Elliott.
Rockliffe came back with sustained pressure and secured their fourth try with the score at 31-29. Ashington lost hooker Henderson to injury and Rockliffe seized the chance to take the lead 31-36.
Ashington’s Elliott closed the gap with a penalty on 64 minutes and narrowly missed with another while Jarvis’ attempted drop goal fell just short.
Ashington kept up the pressure and on 74 minutes a Rockliffe clearance kick fell straight to Ashington’s Man-of -the-Match, John Tuck, 10m inside the Rockliffe half. He set off on a superb run evading several tackles to score his hat-trick try in the corner and Elliott kicked an excellent conversion for a final score of 41-36 to Ashington.
This was a thrilling match and a great credit to both sets of players.
Ashington’s second team also recorded a fine 20-17 win away to Rockliffe.