2 bonus points secured but Pool lose in thriller at Ellington Road
By Stewart Hind
Pool outscore the home team 4 to 3 tries but Ashington take the spoils.
Despite the recent deluge of rain a decent playing surface was presented to the two teams at Ellington Park.
The hosts opened the scoring after 3 minutes, when Pool were penalised at the ruck and the home winger successfully converted the penalty from 40 minutes. 3-0
Pool were playing some decent stuff and flanker Liam Pape making his seasonal debut for the first XV, made a lightning break down the blind side unfortunately the pass to Dean Ryan was intercepted but the ball was knocked on in the process. Pool had the upper hand in in the scrums and following a great drive by Joe Myers, the home side were penalised and Anthony Lawrence pulled the penalty wide from 20 metres.
15 minutes on the clock, Pool went on the offence and kick over the top was caught by the full back and a quick break saw the backs handle and make 30 metres before the centre saw a gap in the away teams defence to score under the posts . 10-0.
3 minutes later, Pool recorded their first try , a scrum ten metres from the Ashington try line was driven forward and number 8 Joe Myers was just about to touch down when a home player came in from an offside position and stopped a certain try. The referee awarded a penalty try and the lead was cut to 3 points. 10-7.
Pool took the lead after 30 minutes, with a flowing back move which saw centres Dave Chester and Keagen Thomas involved , when the break was stopped winger Anthony Lawrence dummied passed two players to score in the corner. With the conversion added Pool lead 14-10.
From the kick off, colt Sam Kitching made a superb catch and made yards with a determined run, the forwards joined in the act and quick ruck ball, saw Durham Under 17 Captain Shane Ivey broke through 2 tackles before the ball was knocked on from a fine defensive tackle.
In an entertaining game, the home team attacked from their own 22 metres line and great hands in the backs exploited a gap , a kick and chase was caught but unfortunately the final pass to the winger was passed forward and Pool had a lucky escape. move .
With minutes remaining of the first half, Pool were dominating the set plays and as the scrum moved towards the try line Pool knocked on and a golden opportunity was lost.
Pool edged the first half and should have been a few scores clear and were to rue the opportunities as Ashington started the second half in determined fashion and reduced the lead to 1 point with a well struck penalty from distance 13-14.
The home team had an excellent opportunity to retake the lead but missed two penalty kicks in the 47 and 48 minute respectively, however they took a deserved lead after 50 minutes when a kick through was caught and the winger touched down.
5 minutes later Pool came back into the game with a great opportunist try , second row Michael Smalley stole the line out ball and dived over from 5 metres. Anthony Lawrence touch line kick struck the post and bounced the wrong side of the post. 20-19.
From the resultant kick off , Pool were penalised for being offside at the ruck and were caught knapping when a quickly taken penalty saw the number 10 scamper over for Ashington third try. 27-19
With 5 minutes remaining , Pool went back on the attack and the forwards and backs combined before full Adam Ainley joined in the line and dummied passed two players to score in front of posts. Anthony Lawrence kick was true and the lead was reduced to 1 point. 26-27.
As the game approached full time, Pool laid siege to the home line and were awarded a penalty 10 metres out in front of the post , instead of taking the 3 points , Pool took a quick penalty and desperate defence from Ashington saw the ball knocked on the ball was cleared down field and the referee blew for full time.