Ashbourne get job done early on Rec
PLENTY of points early in the game did the trick for Ashbourne as they ran out 34-27 winners at home to Loughborough.
This was a crucial game in Midlands Two East (North) against a team who started the day a place and a point ahead of Ashbourne in the table.
At the end of it, Ashbourne are two points and three places ahead going into a weekend without a match.
Jonny Riley finished with 13 points, made up of a try, two penalties and a conversion, while Rob Farr contributed 11 points, kicking three conversions to go with a try.
Captain Ollie Ruddock and Will Nash also crossed the try line as Ashbourne collected the four-try bonus point.
Jason Ainsworth was named man of the match after another all-action effort full of tackling.
“As we scored inside 10 minutes, it set the tone for the game,” said Ruddock.
“We led for the whole game but our tackling let us down at times, as they had strong runners who kept them pushing forward and in the game.
“We have been known to selfdestruct a little bit when we don’t run away with a game but we kept our heads well and took advantage of a much stronger back line than theirs.”
It was not all plain sailing, as Ashbourne had injuries to Farr and Jimmy Carter in the first half, although, with the next match away to Market Rasen a week on Saturday, they have longer recovery time than usual.
“We’ll have to make sure our defence is back up to its usual standard when we make the trek over to Market Rasen, who are second in the league,” added Ruddock.
Main picture: Ashbourne man of the match Jason Ainsworth makes one of many tackles to stop Loughborough. Inset left, top: Ollie Ruddock touches down for one of Ashbourne’s four tries. Inset left, bottom: Chris Rose on the charge for Ashbourne.PICTURES: Michael Hopesmith, threesix sevennine.co.uk