Southwark Lancers 10
Ashford responded well to what had been a disappointing performance in their previous league games against New Ash Green.
They started very brightly playing some excellent rugby from the kick off, there was some great interplay with backs and forwards which found Jack Weaver out wide to score which was converted by Steve Tanner who kicked excellently throughout.
The pack of forwards which was led expertly by Danny Leech who had a barnstorming performance were marshalled and cajoled all game by the returning skipper Rhys Fussell who was outstanding and provided real energy to his pack. A stable set piece was allowing the home side to play some good rugby which was unfortunately punctuated by the odd error and allowed the visitors to get on the scoreboard with a penalty, this seemed to rouse the away side who played the better rugby for the next 15 or so minutes as Ashford allowed their defensive intensity to lapse.
The final 10 minutes of the 1st half were all Ashford with Man of the Match Dan Sherrin turning over ball continuously and his fellow back rowers of Redman and Remington winning the breakdown battle. Ashford levelled the score at 10 – 10 but in truth were unfortunate not to be further ahead after continuous Southwark penalties thwarted Ashford’s momentum.
So half time, level pegging but Ashford felt confident and knew they playing some good rugby and winning the forward battle.
Early 2nd half pressure told as the Ashford pack once again were destructive at the breakdown, Tom Perkins seemed to be everywhere and Charlie Norman was putting in a much improved performance. A solid scrum on the opposition 5 meter looked like it might be a push over but Fussell took matters into his own hands and scored the 2nd Ashford try of the game once again converted by Tanner.
Changes were made with Peter Walsh leaving the field with a shoulder injury and replaced by Nathan Wood, the pack was re energised with the introduction of Mason Pilcher and the returning Jake Cotton. Ashford continued trying to playing rugby but lacked the killer touch to finish the game off early but this will come with confidence, Captain Fussell decided to use Tanner to take a further 6 points through 2 more penalties and Ashford saw out the game for what was a well-earned win and better performance.
There were lots of positives to take from this game, there were a number of players with questions to answer after the previous league game and those questions were answered emphatically, the question now is can they go and back up this win for the first time season with another success next weekend as they go away to Vigo.