East Retford 1st XV 19 Pts V Ashfield 1st XV 43 Pts
Retford had a must win game on their hands if they were to have any chance of a second place promotion spot.
As can be seen by the score they were for the most part outclassed and out played by their visitors Ashfield who are now comfortably holding that second place position.
Instead of settling into the game Retford came out all guns blazing and threw caution to the wind running out of defence. However the perfect start was not in Retford’s favour as they were turned over and quick ball to the opposition winger saw an early try to Ashfield well converted from out wide.
This put a confident Ashfield side on the front foot and after converting a penalty was soon rewarded with another converted try after some shabby tackling. Retford then got themselves into the match with a period of good attacking play but came to an end when Ashfield once more turned the ball over and once again went on to score a converted try leading by twenty-four points at the interval.
Full in the knowledge that the opposition wanted to prevent Retford scoring at all the home side knew that they had to up there game if they were to gain anything from the fixture. Unfortunately Ashfield carried their momentum on into the second half and were first to score rumbling over with the forwards in the corner for a try.
Then Retford had a run of play and totally dominated for the next fifteen to twenty minutes, showing the supporters and opposition how they could really play. On the attack a chip through saw Ali Waring give chase to beat the defence to the ball and score the try, converted by Dan Preece. This was followed up with some great scrummaging putting Ashfield under all sorts of pressure which eventually lead to a penalty try and conversion.
Retford from the restart were straight back down the field and strong forward play put them on the Ashfield line again. Another scrum won by the Retford forwards saw Simon Phillips pick up and dart for the line, he wriggled over for a try and all of a sudden Retford were only ten points adrift with plenty of time on the clock.
From the ensuing kick-off Ashfield received a penalty but went wide of the target and Retford took full advantage gaining good territory looking to close the gap even further. However all didn’t go to plan as Retford once again had the ball turned over and Ashfield ran full length to score a converted try. This process was repeated shortly after with great distribution by the Ashfield centre giving them an overlap once more and another run away try plus conversion to round off the scoring.
Retford look like third place is all they can strive for this season but have still got some tough fixtures ahead including a semi-final against Mellish which could lead to a final in the Notts Cup. Man of the match awards went to Mick Sykes at fullback for a strong performance and also to Dave Howard at number eight but a special mention must go to Simon Phillips once again helping the side playing out of position. Retford 1st XV travels to Boston this coming week in a match that needs to be won.