Acklam 20 Barnard Castle 22
Acklam play well but just come up short against a strong Barnard Castle side
Acklam played well but eventually just came up short against a strong Barnard Castle side, losing 20 - 22.
Barnard Castle kicked off with a slight breeze behind them. The first few minutes were evenly contested until the 10th minute when Acklam were penalised for offside deep in their own half. After kicking to touch the visitors clinically executed a driving maul to go over for the opening score, converted to give them an early 7 nil lead.
Acklam soon fought back - after stand off Danny Ashton was wide with a penalty kick at goal Barnard Castle kicked the 22 restart long. Acklam ran the ball back and powerful winger Josh Abraham
broke through the visitors ' defence and put full back Brad Gater away.Although Gater was tackled into touch short of the try line the clearance was again purposely ran back by Acklam. Abraham made another break and when the ball was recycled from the breakdown Ashton sold a clever dummy and stepped inside to score under the posts. He converted himself to level the score after 20 minutes.
Acklam were now on top, with play mostly in the visitors ' half and shortly before half time number 8 Andy Dalton
was quickly off the mark to charge down an attempted clearance and then win the race to touch down behind the Barnard Castle line. Another Ashton conversion put the home side 14 - 7 up. However, there was still time for the visitors to go downfield and win a penalty in front of Acklam's posts, kicked to make the score 14 - 10 to Acklam at half time.
Early in the second half centre Marcus Sudron
made a good break and after Acklam continued to press they forced a penalty and a good kick by Ashton increased the lead. Although the home side's scrum was starting to come under pressure they attacked again and Barney were penalised for a high tackle on replacement centre Chris Walker
. The reliable Ashton kicked the points again to put Acklam 20 - 10 up.
Shortly after the restart Acklam won another penalty when the visitors were penalised at the breakdown. Unfortunately the long kick for touch went just the wrong side of the corner flag, resulting in a scrum back in Acklam's half. Barnard Castle were now starting to get on top up front in the set pieces and when Acklam were penalised for a high tackle in front of their posts the visitors opted for a scrum. In a desperate attempt to avoid the pushover Acklam infringed and a penalty try was awarded, making it 20 - 17 with 20 minutes to go.
Acklam were now finding it difficult to get any possession and found themselves trapped in their own half. Barnard Castle constructed another driving maul near Acklam's line and eventually forced the ball over again and the conversion put the visitors 20 - 22 up.
For the last 10 minutes Acklam continued to be under pressure However, brave defence by the home team just prevented the visitors from scoring again and although they suffered a narrow 20 -22 defeat Acklam played well against a very good team and had the consolation of a losing bonus point.
Updated 12:50 - 9 Sep 2018 by Paul I'Anson