Ash­bourne rule in sec­ond half

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - SPORT -

ASH­BOURNE took con­trol in the sec­ond half to over­take Mat­lock in the Mid­lands Two East (North) ta­ble.

Mat­lock led 19-15 at half-time but Ash­bourne had all the an­swers af­ter the break.

Tim Tay­lor touched down to give the vis­i­tors the lead but they were then re­duced to 14 men when cap­tain Si­mon Wright was sent to the sin bin and Ash­bourne took ad­van­tage.

Rob Farr did the hard work and broke through the Mat­lock de­fence be­fore of­fload­ing to Li­nesh Sri­param on his shoul­der, who crossed the line with ease.

Farr con­verted the try and also kicked a penalty in the first half.

The home side were in the driving seat as Mat­lock strug­gled to deal with mul­ti­ple strong runs from Charles Austin and he crossed the line for his first try in the Ash­bourne first XV.

Mat­lock re­sponded al­most im­me­di­ately, how­ever, as sloppy de­fence at the ruck al­lowed them to break through and score un­der the posts.

At the end of the first half, Mat­lock again ap­plied pres­sure on the scrum and the ref­eree awarded them a penalty try for a 19-15 half-time lead.

Ash­bourne started the sec­ond half well and the ball was shipped out to the right where Ol­lie Rud­dock went over for an easy try in the cor­ner.

The con­ver­sion was missed so Ash­bourne’s lead was 20-19 but they soon ex­tended it.

Ash­bourne’s pack re­turned the pres­sure which was put on them ear­lier in the game and they bun­dled across the line af­ter a strong rolling maul.

It would need an ac­tion re­ply to de­ter­mine who ac­tu­ally touched down, a joint ef­fort from Mark Maz­nenko and Lewis Robin­son get­ting the credit.

Mat­lock ap­plied a lot of pres­sure in the fi­nal 15 min­utes but Ash­bourne’s de­fence was im­mac­u­late to se­cure the 25-19 win.

“It was al­ways go­ing to be a hard­fought game,” said Rud­dock.

“Be­fore the game they were third and we were fifth so we have leapfrogged them.

“There’s noth­ing sweeter than beat­ing our lo­cal ri­vals, ev­ery­one wanted the win and that showed.

“The heart from all our play­ers was bril­liant.

“And a bonus point win for scor­ing four tries is vi­tal as we are away to top of the league Melbourne next week­end.

“But if we show the same heart and want it as much as we did this week­end then there’s ab­so­lutely no rea­son why we can’t come away with a win.”

John Ford was a phys­i­cal pres­ence on the field all game for Ash­bourne against Mat­lock. PIC­TURE: MICHAEL HOPE-SMITH, THREE SIX SEVEN NINE PHOTOGRAPHY

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