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Home > News > Seaham 12 - Ashington 57
Your News Seaham 12 - Ashington 57

Following the previous weeks fine win at Winlaton Vulcans, it was hoped that the hosts would build on a strong performance and generate some momentum as the seasons enters its critical stage.

Unfortunately, inconsistency in the availability of playing personnel appears to be their biggest adversary. Taking into account the amount of squad members who were working, on holiday, injured, or in hibernation, the selectors did very well to name a squad of 16 men.

To further compound Seahams woes, a league points deduction that had been hanging over their heads like the sword of Damocles since they failed to play North Shields in February was finally imposed. The five docked points puts them firmly back in the relegation dogfight.

The visitors big pack looked very strong in the set pieces and looked to drive Seaham back at every opportunity; whether it be scrums or rolling mauls. Luckily, the hosts were in defiant spirits, in spite of the ranks being severely compromised, and they hung on doggedly against a relentless attack. Mark Wilson and Graham Aldus put in some solid hits in the midfield and the back row trio of Grant Dixon, Ben Bell and Ryan Pink contested the tight areas well.

After enduring so much pressure against a relentless Ashington onslaught, Seaham finally succumbed on 13 minutes when the visitors worked a clever overlap down the right flank. Rob Thornton found his hands full and was unable to prevent his opposite number crossing in the corner. Seahams supporters claimed a forward pass but match referee Trevor Alley awarded a try.

The visitors doubled their lead three minutes later when an overlap left Rob Thornton exposed again and he was powerless to prevent a second try. This time the scorer was able to run under the posts to make the conversion attempt easier.

Things got a little heated in the wake of the try and both packs steamed into one another. With no major culprits to punish, both skippers were called in and advised by Mr Alley that cards would be produced next time. Once good order was restored, Ashingtons kicker nailed his attempt and they were now 12-0 ahead.

A third try was registered in the 27th minute when Ashington showed good hands and worked their way to the try line. Thornton ushered his man towards touch but a clever overhead pass found a supporting player and he ran under the posts for a converted try to stretch the lead to 19 unanswered points.

Mark Wilson almost gifted the visitors a try a minute later when he attempted to break out of his 22 and, with men outside him, attempted a grubber kick. This was scooped up by the Ashington fly half and they attacked once again. Several phases were worked before Ryan Pink somehow managed to turn possession in Seahams favour to save the day. Unfortunately, in the process of defending his lines, Grant Dixon aggravated an old ankle injury and was forced to leave the pitch. Ryan Giblin stepped into the fray to replace him on the wing and John Dixon moved into the forwards.

Ashington looked to take advantage of the disruption in Seahams ranks and worked forward with purpose. They looked certain to register a fourth try but a desperate tap tackle by full back Graeme Steel halted the move.

Seahams plight was challenged even further when they lost Mark Wilson on 37 minutes. After attempting a tackle and falling heavily and damaged his knee. Further examination later indicated that he may have snapped a ligament. This would mark a cruel end to the season for the lively centre.

Right on the stroke of half-time, Ashington recorded a bonus point with their fourth try of the game. They were awarded a penalty and, with Seaham not focussed on defending their lines, took a quick tap and crossed in the right corner.

Half Time: SEAHAM (0) Ashington (24)

Seaham emerged lively following the interval and looked likely to battle their way back into the game. After disrupting play in midfield, the ball was fly-hacked down the field by Jack McCallum. The ball was secured by the visitors by a thumping tackle by John Dixon nailed his man and he recovered the ball. Brad Green rifled a quick pass to Ryan Giblin and the youngster crossed for his maiden try of the season in the right corner. Graeme Steels touchline conversion fell agonisingly short but Seaham were back in it at 24-5.

Any chances that Seaham may have fancied of battling their way back into the game were slashed when influential prop Jonny Martin split his right eye wide open after an accidental clash of heads. He was taken to Sunderland Eye Infirmary and had eight stitches to seal his eye lid. No doubt, his dynamic presence around the park will be badly missed by his team mates.

With no front row cover available for Seaham, uncontested scrums were applicable for the rest of the game. At least this enabled the hosts the luxury of not having their possession disrupted at each set piece. Jack McCallum had plenty of time and space to launch a clearance kick 40 metres downfield and into touch.

Shortly afterwards, two grizzled veterans stepped out of retirement to take to the field and help Seaham out of their numerical crisis. Steve Wilkinson replaced Martin in the forwards and Colin Hall replaced Wilson. With their numbers now back up to 15, the hosts were happy to carry on; barring further injuries.

Just before the hour mark, following a sustained spell of pressure, Seaham battled their way deep inside the Ashington 22. Graeme Steel took a pass and looked likely to score but chose to throw a pass inside. This was cleverly read by the Ashington right wing and he intercepted and raced upfield and under the posts; a sickening blow after so much hard work.

At least Seaham were next to make a mark on the scoreboard when they registered their second score of the day. A clever miss-move in midfield lad to centre Graham Aldus taking possession and crashing over for his fifth try of the season. Graeme Steel added the extras to make it 38-12.

As if playing a side in good form wasnt enough, Seahams discipline also let them down. On 67 minutes Ashington were awarded a penalty. Rather than retreating 10 metres, half of the home side stood looking at the referee whilst the visitors scrum half took a quick tap. A converted try was scored and Seaham were now 45-12 down

The visitors looked as fresh as they were at the onset heading into the dying stages. Their youthful threequarters once again worked an overlap to allow their full back to cross unopposed in the top right corner and cross the half-century mark.

Ashington rounded off the game in the final minute with a ninth try and a conversion. By this stage, Jack McCallum had also tweaked his thumb so the final whistle came as something of a relief for the Harbours walking wounded. They will now need to adopt a siege mentality if they are to overcome all of the odds stacked against them.

Full Time: SEAHAM (12) Ashington (57)

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