4ths Still Have 100% Record.
By Ian Jones
Good Win For Ashbourne.
Ashbourne 4ths had yet another league game cancelled on them earlier in the week.
The 4ths play in the Security Plus Pennant Group 4 North League and were due to play Chesterfield Panthers 2nds at home, however for the 3rd week in a row the opposition failed to raise a side.
A friendly was arranged away at Wolverhampton against their 3rd team.
Ashbourne arrived at the club after an hour and a quarter drive with only 15 mins before kick off to get ready, the home side were already out warming up with 6 substitutes!
Ashbourne were slow to start, not really doing anything wrong, just not making any head way into the Wolverhampton half. Not only were Ashbourne playing up the slope and against the breeze but also against the referee who was very “whistle happy” and keen to penalise Ashbourne every time they had decent ball to play with. The referee was beginning to spoil what was a good game.
Ashbourne were 8 – 3 down at half time, the 3 points coming from the steady boot of scrum half Jason Rowland. Captain Robyn Wright gave a decent half time talk encouraging the players to forget about the ref & play their normal game.
The Ashbourne pack were unmoveable in the scrums, with the front row of Ben Woodruffe, Wright & Dan Galvin winning ball against the head. The second row of Wayne Moor & Ben Wildgoose made a good pairing and with the steady feet of No8 Ian Jones controlling the ball for Rowland the Ashbourne forwards started to deliver clean ball for the backs. The line-out began to work well in the 2nd half with Wildgoose taking some clean ball to allow for some decent driving mauls from the front of the line with Woodruffe at the heart of them.
Jim Slater & Leon Rushton on the flanks were all over the opposition, first to every break down putting in some great tackles.
Fly Half Johnny Birkett rolled back the years and had a stunning game at 10, controlling & pushing Wolverhampton back into their own half. Eventuality Ashbourne were rewarded for their efforts with a try from Outside Centre Nat Fryer who touched down early in the 2nd half, this was converted by Rowlands. Young Will Gardner had a superb game with some crunching tackles & some strong carries from inside centre.
Ashbourne began to pin the home side into their own half with a second try following from Jim Slater who has fantastic strength & speed to burst at least 4 tackles to cross the try line. Nat Fryer touched down again after a decent break, in fact he should have had a hat-trick however he miss judged the depth of the in-goal area, running the ball dead.
Rowland steadied the score with another 3 points from a rare penalty awarded to Ashbourne.
Full back Roger Glithero, the oldest man on the pitch, had a good game at the back cleaning up any ball sent his way & controlling the wingers, Godfrey and Monteif.
Wolverhampton scored a late try & conversion, however it was not enough to challenge the final score of 15 – 25 to Ashbourne.
Jim Slater was awarded Man of the Match.
Team: Woodruffe, Wright (capt), Galvin, Moore, Wildgoose, Slater, Rushton, Jones, Rowland, Birkett, Monteiff, Gardner, Fryer, Godfrey, Glithero.
This is now the 5th win in succession for the fourths, the only team to have a 100% record in the club.
The 4ths travel to Derby next week for a league game against their 3rds. Derby stand 3rd the league whilst Ashbourne sit second to Belper who are only above on point difference.