Ashford returned to winning ways at the weekend, putting a disappointing February behind them with a comprehensive victory which was full of intensity, and considering the conditions they played some good rugby.
The game kicked off at pace, with Ashford bombarding the Old G’s defensive line and moving the ball wide at every opportunity. They should have been at least 2 scores up inside 10 minutes but a lack of composure in the red zone meant the chances were squandered and the away side were let off the hook. Ashford didn’t have it all their own way in the early exchanges as Old G’s proved to be doughty opponents who stuck to their task throughout without ever really looking like they were capable of opening up the Ashford defense. On the topic of defense this was a return to the suffocating defensive line of earlier in the season, the inclusion of the returning Andy Ticehurst certainly added an organizing voice and physicality to the line, and with the likes of Dan Brown surprisingly getting himself involved in his fair share of work the boys were looking back to their aggressive best.
Tries started to come as Ashford picked up the pace with first Brown scoring, followed by Captain Fussell, Tanner had a rare off day with the boot and was unable to contribute the extras. Back from this African adventures, next up was Farai Myezwa who once he got hands on ball sped into space, teased his opposite winger before fending him off to race away and score under the posts, Tanner converted. Old G’s weren’t rolling over just yet as they scored a well worked try, converted it and at half time it was 17 – 7 and all to play for.
Ashford got better and better as the 2nd half progressed, they were still guilty of making some poor choices in attack when if they’d stuck to the plan they almost certainly would’ve scored. Their variety in attack was pleasing and for the remaining games of this season this ability to mix up how they attack their opposition will be needed.
The outstanding Dan Shez scored a well-earned try, as always he seemed to read the play better than most and popped up in the right place to power over the line. Ticehurst was rewarded for his endeavours with a try, and then Peter Walsh came off the bench to touch down twice in 10 minutes and secure what was a much needed victory.
As mentioned this was a positive performance after a couple of tough losses, the Ashford pack looked like they were back in the groove, and the options now available in the backline mean that they are more than happy playing in a direct fashion or equally content moving the ball wide.
Onwards to this weekend where Ashford host Gillingham Anchorians in their rescheduled fixture from early March.