Ashton triumph in close encounter
Monday 1st October 2018 @ 09:17 by Mark Phillip

AMD First Division

Ashton 19 North Manchester 15

This was the first home game since the Ashton club had received the sad news of the death of president Terry Sweeney and both sides lined up before the game for a meticulously observed minute’s silence.

The home side welcomed back second row man Alex Mayoh after a two year absence caused by a cruciate ligament injury, and they started the game well. A darting run from deep in his own half from full back Alex Meredith soon took them forward, and although this petered out, they continued to enjoy the bulk of the possession until good work by the pack set up left winger Adam Goodwin for a raid on the opposition line. Once he had the bit between his teeth he made no mistake as he shot inside to dive in under the posts. Josh Pattison added the goal points.

Ashton switched off a little after this breakthrough and the next ten minutes saw them fall behind to a North Manchester penalty quickly followed by some unconvincing tackling which led to a converted try.

It wasn’t long however before the visitors were again undone by more good approach work, finished off this time by centre Raoul Sutcliffe who showed a rare turn of pace as he nipped through the defence for an unconverted try which gave his side the interval lead.

The game swung both ways after the restart but it was Ashton again who were next to score and again it was outstanding pace which brought it about. Play had been taken up the right wing where it was stretched by Meredith nipping up the outside. Initially it looked as if he would ground the ball in the corner, but he quickly changed gear and accelerated inside to touch down under the posts to give Pattison an easy conversion.

Neither side really gained a clear ascendancy after this and North might well have given their hosts a bit of a scare when they worked the ball well out of their own half to register a second converted try with ten minutes to go. However, Ashton saw out the rest of the game with little problem to register their second win of the season.

With both home games won, this developing young side could well have an exciting future and they’ll doubtless give the Gambrel Bank touchline more than a little to talk about as the season progresses.

By Ian Crickett