Ashington rugby see off neighbours Blyth in County Cup ‘derby’ clash
Ashington RFC 22Blyth RFC 6Full contact competitive rugby returned to “The Rec” for the first time in 18 months in this County Cup derby.
The pattern of the game was set when an early run from Harry Lumley was ruined when he was penalised for holding on, with support slow to get to him.
Both Blyth and Ashington missed early penalties with both sides not surprisingly looking a little rusty as they struggled with the wet conditions and what appeared to be some inconsistent refereeing decisions.
Blyth had a period of sustained pressure before a quick tap penalty from skipper Jonny Arkle saw him break free from the Ash 22 and feed the supporting Owen Jarvis on half way, who sprinted home with a rare turn of speed to score under the posts, Arkle adding the conversion.
Arkle extended Ashington’s lead on 35 minutes breaking through three tackles to score in the corner after being fed from a blindside scrum break from Jonta Johnson.
Blyth finished the half playing the more fluent rugby, taking advantage of 14 man Ashington and only a great covering tackle by fullback Jack Taylor halted an attacking break down the right wing.
At the start of the second half a good run by Moffatt, who had an excellent second 40 minutes, set up a good ruck position, only for the support to be slow to arrive.
Good hands between Lumley, Henderson and Arkle then set winger Reynolds away down the wing. This was Reynolds’ last involvement in the game as he received his second yellow card for a deliberate knock on in the next phase of play, forcing Ash to play the final 30 minutes with 14 men.
At this stage Ash were giving away too many penalties and trying to play from too deep, with Blyth in control forcing Ashington to defend heroically. Blyth kicked two penalties, Arkle adding an Ashington penalty to give a 15-6 score line heading into the final quarter.
Then, Arkle saw the opportunity to go wide from deep in Ashington’s 22, before a piece of magic by centre John Tuck saw him go outside his man and race 40s before perfectly timing his pass to the supporting Merryweather, who raced the final 40m to score under the posts, Arkle adding the conversion to give a final score of 22-6.