Boro de­feated but earn bonus points

Loughborough Echo - - SPORT -

ASH­BOURNE 34 LOUGH­BOR­OUGH 27

LOUGH­BOR­OUGH kicked off the match into a strong wind which was gath­ered well un­der pres­sure from the Lough­bor­ough chase.

Both teams had chances to use the ball in at­tack, but it was Ash­bourne who scored first to make it 7-0.

Lough­bor­ough once again kicked off into the wind, this time the chase be­ing more ef­fec­tive with Gary Bot­tom­ley hit­ting the catcher hard to dis­lodge the ball and hand­ing it to Lough­bor­ough, but Ash­bourne re­gained and a con­verted try put the home side 14-0 ahead.

Again Lough­bor­ough kicked off, the kick taken beau­ti­fully in the air by young back row Tommy Chris­tian. Lough­bor­ough’s first try came from us­ing their big ball car­ri­ers to great ef­fect. Cap­tain Jamie Grice made some de­cent yardage which then gave number 8 Waylen Bradley the chance to have a charge from the 22m line.

With a number of Ash­bourne de­fend­ers hang­ing from him, he dragged him­self and them to the line to score the try to re­duce the ar­rears to 14-5.

Un­for­tu­nately for Lough­bor­ough, the hard work for the try was un­done al­most im­me­di­ately. Af­ter gath­er­ing the restart well, Lough­bor­ough be­gan to build for an­other at­tack just out­side their 22m. An in­ter­cep­tion in the mid­field gave the Ash­bourne player a sim­ple run in to fin­ish the score, again con­verted to make it 21-5.

Lough­bor­ough again man­aged to beat Ash­bourne to the ball af­ter the restart.

A penalty for Lough­bor­ough meant a chance to at­tack from a li­ne­out on the Ash­bourne 5m line. Pow­er­ful car­ries from the break­down from Scott Pears and Mike Roberts saw Lough­bor­ough move for­ward and Waylen Bradley scored his sec­ond try of the day to make it 21-10 and that was how the score stayed un­til half time.

At the start of the sec­ond half Lough­bor­ough were guilty of not se­cur­ing the ball well enough at ruck time and Ash­bourne scored the first points of the sec­ond half get­ting the ball wide quickly again for their winger to fin­ish the try, con­verted to make it 28-10.

Af­ter a number of penal­ties put Lough­bor­ough deep into the Ash­bourne half, a quick tap from Scott Pears gave Lough­bor­ough some quick go for­ward. The re­sult­ing maul edged its way to the Ash­bourne line and over, Jamie Grice emerg­ing from the mass of bod­ies to claim the try, con­verted by Thomas Kirkby to re­duce the ar­rears to 28-17.

Ash­bourne at­tacked into the Lough­bor­ough half again, with the Lough­bor­ough de­fence hold­ing firm un­til they gave away a penalty con­verted to make it 31-17.

From the restart Lough­bor­ough again re­gained the ball. A pa­tient and com­posed at­tack saw the away side on the Ash­bourne 5m line.

A mo­ment of bril­liance saw Ge­orge Hincks chip over the de­fen­sive line for fly half Harry Venning to score the try, con­verted by Thomas Kirkby to make it 31-24.

Ash­bourne kicked off and this time snatched the ball from Lough­bor­ough. From that tackle a penalty was awarded to the home side, which was slot­ted home to make it 34-24.

Lough­bor­ough from then on camped in the Ash­bourne 22m. The con­stant pres­sure even­tu­ally told and Lough­bor­ough were awarded a penalty which Thomas Kirkby stepped up to score, giv­ing Lough­bor­ough two bonus points away from home in a 34-27 de­feat.

Af­ter the match Cap­tain Jamie Grice said: “It’s never easy to earn points away from home, and with the changes we were forced to make early on I couldn’t be prouder of the boys.”

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