Gloom in the Gloom!
By Malcolm Stokoe
Ash snatch victory at Broadway West.
The snow had gone, but so had the sunshine, as Gosforth kicked off against Ashington. Despite a few injuries and non-availabilities the hosts had a strong looking side and, so it proved, as winger Tom Jones was to cross in the corner after only three minutes. Mark Anderson
produced an excellent conversion to give Gos an early 7-0 lead. Ashington were then to put Gos under considerable pressure, but the home line stayed intact until the visitors eventually scored an unconverted try through Johnny Arkle in the 24th minute (7-5). Unfortunately Gosforth in the meantime had lost the services of speedy fullback, Liam Hawthorn
, following yet another storming run. In only his second appearance of the season Liam was to suffer a re-occurence of his shoulder injury, which required a trip to the RVI! This severely disrupted the home team - as did the yellow card issued to flanker, Marc Burton
in the 30th minute. However the score stayed at 7-5 until halftime, both sides having had scoring chances without finishing them off.
Ash attacked from their kick-off, but it was Gosforth, who pounded the visitors' line for Dom Manfredi
to drive over in the corner, following strong pressure by the home pack. Ando was unable to convert this one (12-5), but made amends after Tom Jones was to cross for his second try of the afternoon on 62 minutes, following a strong run by centre, Mathew Struthers
(19-5), who, incidently, was making his 100th First team appearence. Things looked set fair for the home side, but Ashington had other ideas as they attacked the far end of the field in the gathering gloom and brought the score to 19-10 on 70 minutes. [It was impossible to identify scorers from this point!] Further disruptions to the home team through injuries, and a series of penalties awarded against them, gave Ashington some great encouragement to go for an unlikely win. With four minutes to go to the final whistle Ashington were to score a third unconverted try (helped by some less than effective tackling!) - 19-15. There was still time for them to score a fourth bonus point try in the last minute and steal the win from a stunned home team! Thus, the final score of 19-20 was joyfully received by the visitors and Gosforth were left to ponder on what might/should have been.
Next week sees the start of a run of four away games, beginning next Saturday at Sedgefield.