New Ash Green 5
At a once again wet and windy Kinney’s Field Ashford entertained New Ash Green on Saturday, and were determined to right some wrongs after losing to them earlier in the season with a performance which still rankled with all concerned.
As we all know this Ashford side compared to the one earlier in the season is a completely different entity, and so they proved once again with a resounding victory which moved them further up the table into 3rd with only points difference now separating them from 2nd place.
With barely a quarter of the game gone Ashford had scored 3 well worked tries with Callum Stuckey, Will Blyth and Chris Baker all getting on the scoreboard and with 2 of the 3 converted Ashford were 19 – 0 up, a rout was on the cards! Complacency and a good deal of laziness unfortunately crept in and NAG came back at Ashford although in reality they didn’t look like breaking down the home defence, which was well organised if lacking in the usual bite.
Ashford finished the 1st half with another try, this time through Steve Tanner who converted and at half time it was 26 – 0, bonus point in the bag and game over. What had been a pretty abject second quarter wasn’t well received by Head Coach Dengate who dished out a few home truths at half time, a lot more was expected in the second half.
Ashford came out firing and scored a further 5 tries in the next half an hour and played some quite excellent rugby in conditions which weren’t at all conducive to fast flowing rugby. Tom Kane and Shane Redman in particular were at the fore of everything good coming from the pack and Will Blyth belied his inexperience when moved to 10 and showed some smart decision making and a great deal of composure in the role. Nathan Wood, Kane, Farai Myezwa, Sujit Gurung and the returning Jake Fletcher all scored with Blyth converting 2 and Baker 1.
The only blot on the afternoon was a soft solitary try which was conceded late on and although it clearly had no impact on the result it was still slightly disappointing.
All in all a good afternoon, the unbeaten streak is extended to 11 games and nobody involved can seem to remember any 1st XV going on a longer run which in itself is an excellent achievement. February poses some very challenging fixtures with a tough game expected in Southwark and after a weeks break a home league game against current 2nd place Vigo before the semi-final of the Junior Vase on the 24th. The signs of complacency and laziness will need to be swiftly stamped out and the realisation from the players that they go into most games now as favourites is something they need to start getting comfortable with as the expectation levels build slowly each week.
Ashford are away to Southwark Lancers this Saturday with a 2.30pm kick off.