Cru­cial win could be turn­ing point

EF­FORTS RE­WARDED: Skip­per praises team’s work ethic

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Classified -

AF­TER los­ing their pre­vi­ous five Kent 1 matches, Ash­ford got back on track with a 26-17 victory over a Cran­brook side who had soundly beaten them a month ear­lier.

They started the game strongly, dom­i­nat­ing in scrums and line-outs, and Trevor Marama pro­duced a typ­i­cal run and strong fin­ish from 30 yards to score un­der the posts. Karl Hard­ing con­verted for 7-0.

With the pack winning solid clean ball, winger Billy Bright fielded a cross­field kick to score a try in the cor­ner which Hard­ing con­verted su­perbly.

Al­though Ash­ford then put them­selves un­der some un­nec­es­sary pres­sure with ex­am­ples of the in­dis­ci­pline that has caused prob­lems in their re­cent matches, Cran­brook were un­able to cap­i­talise and went in at the break trail­ing 14-0.

But soon af­ter the restart Cran­brook scored a soft try, fol­low­ing some sloppy de­fence, which they con­verted for 14-7 to put them right back in the game.

How­ever, good line-out work from hooker Paul Curry and jumpers Nigel Body and James Fearne saw Ash­ford spin the ball wide to find Grant Bur­den, who spun out of sev­eral tack­les to fin­ish a great move for an un­con­verted try.

Cran­brook struck back quickly with an­other try but the con­ver­sion at­tempt hit the post, leav­ing Ash­ford 19-12 in front.

And the home side then pro­duced their best spell of rugby of the game.

With all 15 men work­ing to­gether, they moved up­field re­sult­ing in a line-out eight me­tres from the line. A good throw from Nor­man to man-of-the-match Fearne set up a maul which the Ash­ford pack con­trolled to al­low Owen Roberts to stretch over the line and score the de­cid­ing try, with Hard­ing again adding the two points.

Ash­ford cap­tain John Nor­man said: “If we can keep up this mo­men­tum and de­sire to win, we can eas­ily turn this sea­son around in 2009.

“We are work­ing hard in train­ing and the team spirit on Satur­day was su­perb.”

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