Coaches Details:Derek Swan 07716 563930 firstname.lastname@example.org Russell Troth 07801 384303 email@example.com Ashford U 16s .v. Gravesend 16s – SUNDAY 15th February 2015This week we played hosts to Gravesend missing a number of regulars. This provided an opportunity to give some game time to recent recruits Reece, Sam and Jack as well as the returning Fenton.The early exchanges saw the home team dominate possession and it wasn’t long before Reece took an opportunity to show his pace with a decisive break into the Gravesend 22 but was stopped just short of the line. However Tom K was on hand to pick up and go over for the game’s first score.The Ashford back line was looking dangerous and the next attack saw Aaron break through the defence but this time the support was slow in getting to the breakdown and Gravesend managed to clear. The next attack came from a lineout just inside the Gravesend half. Sacki playing as a makeshift lineout jumper gathered the ball and this set up a powerful forward drive with Ashford making over 20 yards . The ball was then moved across the backline and Reece was released for a great try.At this stage Ashford were rampart and playing with great confidence. Next it was Max’s turn to break through and with support from Reece Ashford were again into the opposition 22. A scrum set up a blindside break by Tom K and when he was tackled Teague was on hand to pick up and score.The final score of the half came from Max who went on a weaving run to score under the posts. Jerome who had no luck with the first three conversions this time added the extra 2 points.HT 22-0The second half started with the home team picking up where they had left off. Teague put in a clever box kick which sat up perfectly for the on rushing Reece who still had lots to do but with a neat side step he had the pace to sprint to the line and score under the posts. Jerome had the simple task of slotting over the conversion.
The next phases saw the first period of sustained pressure by Gravesend in the Ashford 22. After a number of set pieces the pressure finally told and the visitors crossed for their first try which was converted.
After this score a lot of the game was played between the two 22’s with neither side threating to score. Ashford started to make mistakes and passes which in the first half were finding their targets were now being dropped. . The Ashford lineout which was without our two recognized line out jumpers was ragged and very little clean possession was being won. The shape of the team was also disrupted by losing Alex P, Max and Tom K to injury and a number of players were forced into playing out of position.
The final score of the match came to Gravesend. A scrum was won by Gravesend when the Ashford pack was a man short. Their winger was released and raced from inside his own half to register a try under the posts and set up a simple conversion.
So something of a game of two halves but the first half saw us play some really exciting rugby. Given the number of missing regulars and the disruption due to injuries in the second half we can be satisfied with a comfortable win after some recent narrow and unlucky defeats.
Full Time 29-14.
Man of the Match
Mentions to Aaron for some strong running and good passing, Teague for a typical energetic performance and Sacki who was all action. However this week’s MOM is Reece who with two excellent tries , great support running and some crunching tackles put in a superb performance.
Scores: Tries: Tom K, Reece (2) Teague Max. Conversions Jerome (2)
|ASHFORD STARTING XV|
|Mason – Evan – Owen – Jordan – Jacob – Sacki – Sam – Tom K|
|Teaghe – Jerome – Reece C – Alex P – Aaron – Fenton – Max|
|SUBS – Harry – Andrew – Jack|
|14-Sep-14||Cranbrook- training match||A||N/A|
|28-Sep-14||Vigo – training match||A||N/A|
|05-Oct-14||Erith – Kent Cup||A||W||42||5|
|19-Oct-14||Blackheath B – Kent Cup||H||L||10||25|
|09-Nov-14||Thanet – EKC1||A||L||5||31|
|16-Nov-14||Vigo – Kent Cup||H||W||38||10|
|14-Dec-14||Deal & Betteshanger||A||W||25||24|
|04-Jan-15||NEW YEAR||NO GAME|
|25-Jan-15||pitches water-logged||NO GAME|
|01-Feb-15||Deal & B’hanger KC Q/F||H||L||10||12|
However, it wasn’t to be. The restart was knocked on, this was followed by an off-side penalty and the final whistle brought home the reality that Dover had won a game that Ashford should never had allowed them to! C’est la vie!
Full Time 25 – 22
Next week’s match: home to Gravesend on Sunday
Man of the Match: for determined play, this week’s Man of the Match goes to Ewen, with special mention to Sakhi and Ben.
A difficult choice this week with the conditions playing a major part and with most of the game played in the forwards. It would be unfair to single out any one individual but notable mentions go to Tom G who was excellent in the line out, Jordan who never stopped and kept making himself available and Aaron who is taking well to his new position of flanker.
Scores: Tries: Teague and Tom K.
ASHFORD STARTING XV
|Mason – Evan- Jordan – Tom G – Ben – Jacob – Tom K– Aaron|
|Teaghe – Dan – Kachi– Alex P– Jerome – Kyeron S – Max|
|SUBS – Ewen – Andrew-Owen- Sacki- Kieran D|
Michael DalyAshford U 16s .v. Folkestone 16s – SUNDAY 11th January 2015
A good opportunity presented itself this Sunday to put in a better performance against Folkestone after a weakened but enthusiastic team conceded 40 odd points just before Christmas. A nearly full squad took to the top cabbage patch at Folkestone and immediately played to our strengths by driving the Folkestone pack back a good 15 metres. However, they too showed where their strength was by spinning the ball wide very quickly and making 50 metres! However, an excellent last gasp tackle by Max stopped an early score. This, though, set the pattern of the day, with the next half hour looking roughly the same with strong work by the Ashford pack and whenever allowed quick work by the Folkestone backs. However, unlike previous games Ashford’s defence held out. Unfortunately, Ashford lost Evan to a hefty bang on the head and a bloody nose, but Tom A came on and once again hooked and threw in very well.With 10 mins of the half left, Mr Maxwell maintained his habit of picking up an injury, which was a great shame as Folkestone capitalised on this and after a quick tap penalty, run through the space usually occupied by him. Many, including this scribe, looked away expecting a try. But not Katchi, who sprinted a good 60 meters to make an excellent try saving tackle. Unfortunately, Folkestone were quicker in support and were able to recycle the ball and score a converted try.Ashford, to their credit responded with real energy and both forwards and backs with determined runs took play up to the Folkestone 22. From a scrum Tom K, made a trademark, strong run that took out at least 4 would be tacklers, that led to an equalising converted (by Dan) try. Half – time 7 – 7.
The second half started in similar vein with the Folkestone backs once again making the most of the space out wide and some defensive errors to score another converted try. However, once again Ashford responded positively, this time through their own fast back play with Jerome putting Max into space for a long run that ended with a high tackle. Teague, ignoring calls from the coaching staff to kick to the corner, took a quick tap penalty and fed Tom K who thought he had scored before realising he had dived dramatically over the five yard line! Luckily, Jerome was alert to the situation and picked up to complete the unconverted score.
The game was very tense at this stage with both teams sensing victory. Unfortunately it was the opposition who were more aware and again a quick penalty followed by two quick passes into space allowed their fast full back to score an unconverted try in the corner.
With 15 mins left the task was clear, a converted try would earn a draw, two would win the game. Every player showed commitment to the cause and again the ball was worked up field for Jordan to crash over. Unfortunately, this was out wide and the necessary conversion from Dan (who had an excellent kicking game) just missed. Two minutes left and two points behind..
A very effective restart from Folkestone put Ashford back to their own try line and for the final and most frustrating time… You know what is coming – a try out wide sealed the victory for Folkestone.
Overall, a much better performance, however, the above does make it clear what needs to be improved.
Man of the match – The Folkestone coach correctly identified Tom K but credit must also go to Katchi for the effort he put in throughout the game. It was also good to see Alex P back from injury and increasing in confidence.
|ASHFORD STARTING XV|
|Mason – Tom A – Sam – Jacob – Ben – Josh – Jordan– Harry|
|Teaghe – Dan – Kachi– Max – Ewen – Andrew – Kyeron S|
|SUBS – Alex P – Jack|
Michael DalyAshford U 16s .v. Deal & Betteshanger 16s – SUNDAY 14th December 2014 Another Sunday and another away trip to familiar opposition. This time to our tour partners Deal & Betteshanger Lions. Could it be a 3rd win on the trot and would it be another tense cliff hanger that is left to the last few minutes? The answer of course was YES.A very frosty morning turned into a lovely winters day as the sun shone and the pitch softened up. Unfortunately, In the opening exchanges it wasn’t just the pitch that was soft – Ashford matched the playing surface as the Lions run in two converted tries to take a 14 – 0 lead. Both were well taken and were as a result of creating quick ball that was then used to exploit the gaps in a disorganised and outnumbered defence. The second try was greeted by a necessary, but a tad too colourful, roasting from Guy which had the desired effect as Ashford started to increase the intensity in both defence and attack.A well taken penalty kick to the corner from Dan led to a trademark catch and drive at the resulting line out. This in turn enabled Mason to peel off the driving maul to force his way over for his second try in two weeks. Like many Ashford tries it led to a wide conversion that was narrowly missed by Dan. Unfortunately, the momentum of the first half remained with the Lions and they again pounced on a midfield mistake, passed the ball wide and scored an unconverted try in the corner. Again Ashford responded positively and were able to force their way into the opposition 22 and after a series of attacking scrums and winning rucks, Tom K in his usual and effective way was able to force his way over for another unconverted try. The defence also improved and the tackle count increased, one particularly effective tackle coming from Max who stopped an almost certain try that may well have put the home side out of reach. Therefore, the 19 – 10 half time score gave hope to Ashford, but an increase in effort and rugby nous was needed to justify this optimism. Thankfully, that is what happened.For the first time in a long time parents and players were treated to the all too rare sight of Katchi sprinting down the wing with space to use. This came as a result of good scrum ball and 4 accurate and well taken passes from the backs that gave the speedy winger enough space to run 50 metres to score a glorious try in the corner. At 19 -15 down and the initiative beginning to turn Ashford’s way the optimism again seemed justified. However, in true Ashford style another mistake turned the ball over to Deal, who used it very well to again score a try out wide and restore their 9 point advantage. However, this was the only breach of a much better 2nd half defence. The power of the Ashford forwards also began to wear down the home team and this coupled with repeated penalties given away by their offside backs, meant the majority of the last quarter was spent on the attack. It was expected that a catch and drive would lead to further points but Deal defended these with real commitment and so it was a move down the back line that led to Max going over for a well deserved try, the conversion attempt by Jerome narrowly missed but Ashford were now in the familiar, but stressful, position of needing a try in the last few minutes to win.Just like the previous two weeks the effort put in by all the team, right up until the final whistle reaped its rewards as continued pressure enabled Teague to exploit space on the blindside and sprint over for another well deserved try that gave Ashford a slender but ultimately winning one point lead. The Lions still had time to come back, but the defence held out and the final whistle was greeted by cheers of relief and success.Obviously, there are many aspects for the coaches to work on, but a major improvement on previous years is the fact that we work right until the end with a self belief that is fantastic to see.Man of the Match went to Mason who again scrummaged, tackled and carried with great effect. Also worthy of mention are Josh who again tackled well, Ben who dominated the line out and the whole back line who began to show glimpses of real talent.Team: Forwards – Mason, Tom A, Evan, Jordan & Ben, Jacob, Tom K & JoshBacks: Teague, Dan, Ewen, Jerome, Katchi, Alex & Max.Subs: Harry, Owen, Sahki, Kyeran S & Andrew All of whom contributed effectively and great to see Kyeran and Andrew back from injuryA home game (yes, a home game) with Folkestone will bring us up to Christmas.Derek Ashford U 16s .v. Whitstable 16s – SUNDAY 7th December 2014 This week saw us on our travels again with an away fixture at Whitstable. We have had a good record recently against today’s opposition who were looking good in their brand new kit.The early exchanges saw Ashford with plenty of possession and a lineout in the Whitstable 22 led to the first score. A clean take by Ben from an accurate Tom A throw allowed Mason to take advantage of some slack defending a cross for his first score of the season. The conversion by Dan went narrowly wide.The restart saw Whitstable on the attack. A lost ball at the breakdown allowed Whitstable to move the ball across their backline and one of their centres broke through the middle of our defence to run unopposed and score under the post. Strangely their kicker elected to take the conversion from outside the 22 and the kick went just wide.At this stage Ashford were looking a bit out of sorts and a loose pass saw Whitstable kick and chase and bring play close to our line. Despite having a chance to tidy up we allowed the on rushing Whitstable players to gain possession and cross for another easy try under the posts. Again their kicker missed an easy conversion.After this set back Ashford rallied and some strong carries by our forwards put us back on the attack. However our back line was finding the going tough and the heavy ground was making it very difficult for any running rugby. A number of fumbles and poor passing saw us go backwards more often than not.The next good piece of play from Ashford came with Jordan making a great carry bringing play into the Whitstable 22. After winning a penalty our pack powered forward and the ball was fed to Evan who crossed for a well worked try. Dan’s kick for the extras narrowly missed the target.At this stage the match was developing into something of a war of attrition between the two packs. We have got used to seeing our pack dominate the opposition but today the Whitstable pack were proving to be no pushovers giving as good as they got. The scrums were being evenly contested but when Ashford did get a push on the 1.5 meter limit was being strictly enforced by the referee.Further good work by Tom K supported by Ben saw Ashford on the attack. However this was undone after a penalty concession for going off our feet. Whitstable looked dangerous on the break and their speedy left-winger looking particularly useful.As the half wore on Ashford continued to enjoy good possession but all too often mistakes stopped us setting up scoring chances.H-T 10-10The restart saw Reece gather the ball well and set up Jordan for another carry into the Whitstable half. However again we failed to build on this and gave over possession.The next attack came from Whitstable. A back line movement saw them release their dangerous left winger who showed great pace to race clear and score. Again the conversion was missed.Dan at out half was trying to get us moving forward and with options in midfield limited he tried a few jinky runs himself. However after one of these we again knocked on and gave possession back. Whitstable counter attacked and a run through our defence saw us miss no fewer than eight tackles (yes I counted!) to allow Whitstable into our 22. After we conceded a penalty Whitstable elected to run rather than take the easy kick on offer. This proved a mistake as they knocked on and we were let off the hook.The next phase saw a penalty by Ashford kept in by Whitstable but good anticipation by Aaron saw him pick up the loose ball and set up a period of sustained Ashford pressure. A great steal from a Whitstable line out by Tom G set up an attack. Some stoic defence from Whitstable saw a number of our big forwards held up close to the line. However a good chance ensued when on one of the few occasions the ball moved along the back line Jerome was held just short of the line.After Whitstable managed to clear they were soon on the attack and this time it was our turn to withstand pressure. Great work by Jacob allowed us to win a scrum and clear our lines.Another Whitstable lineout was again stolen by Tom G and this allowed Ashford to set up another attack. A good move saw the ball worked wide to Max who looked to be away but was forced into touch. However by now the Whitstable line out was under serious pressure and were forced to go long from the resulting lineout. This allowed Ashford to regain possession and go on the attack again. This time it was Kachi who was stopped close to the touchline.By now Ashford were camped in the Whitstable 22 but time was running out. Perhaps helped by the last two close games we didn’t panic and kept our heads. Prompted by Teague a strong forwards move saw good ball retention and Ashford edged their way towards the line. A strong carry by Mason was taken on by Jordan and despite all out defence from Whitstable the ball popped up to Ewen who dived over for the equalising score.For the second week in a row the kick to win a game came to Dan calmly slotted over the conversion.There was still time for the restart and after a knock on the final whistle went.So another close win but this time we can count ourselves very lucky. Had Whitstable taken their kicking chances the result would have different and as Derek mentioned post match their tackling and rucking were better than ours. However, credit to the lads for keeping calm and grinding out the win.Final Score 17-15.Scores: Tries: Mason, Evan, Ewen. Cons Dan (1)MAN OF THE MATCH
Contenders this week were Mason for some good carries and support play and Dan for an all round busy performance topped off by the winning kick. However for some great lineout play including some vital steals from the opponents throw ins this weeks MOM goes to Tom G.
|ASHFORD STARTING XV|
|Mason – Tom A – Evan – Tom G – Ben – Owen – Jordan– Jacob|
|Teaghe – Dan – Kachi– Aaron – Jerome – Ewen – Max|
|SUBS – Tom K, Kieran D, Sacki, Reece, Alex H|
Michael DalyASHFORD U 16s .v. Dover U 16s – SUNDAY 30th November 2014 This week we made a return visit to Dover following a rather fractious encounter last month. After a heavy defeat last time the lads were fired up to give a better account of themselves this time.Ashford started brightly and a Jerome penalty brought play into the Dover 22. From the lineout Ben made a clean catch and Tom A fed Teague who took advantage of an unguarded blind side to score his first ever try for the team. Dan’s conversion attempt from the touchline fell just short, but Ashford had laid down an early marker.From the restart Dover advanced to the 22 and Ashford were caught off side. An easy 3 points for Dover. Again straight from the restart Ashford were under pressure. A Dover break from midfield saw the Dover runner evade a couple of tackles and a good off load resulted in a try in the corner. The conversion attempt was missed.The next phase saw some Ashford possession and a good run by Jerome brought play back towards the Dover 22. However a penalty concession allowed Dover to clear downfield. The resulting line out allowed Dover possession and the ball was worked to the winger who showed great pace to beat the Ashford defence and go over for another try. Again the conversion attempt was unsuccessful.At this stage Ashford needed a lift and got it following a good restart kick from Jerome which was followed with a brilliant hit by Josh. This seemed to lift the team and there was a greater tempo and urgency about the Ashford play. However, we were still giving away too many penalties and were lucky not to concede more points after Ben had been penalised.However, Ashford were starting to get more possession and the scrum and lineout were both working well. In particular we had the Dover scrum under pressure at every put in following the introduction of Tom K and Jordan switching to the front row. While our backs were having trouble making ground a couple of good runs from Ewen showed it wasn’t all about the forwards.A Dover scrum in their 22 led to Ashford’s next score. A strike against the head saw a forward move where the ball was fed to Jordan who used his power to go over for a try. Again a good kick by Dan which just fell short.HT: 10-13The second half had Dover straight on the attack and another penalty concession led to Dover extending their lead. The next attack saw a Dover line break and at the breakdown Ashford were again caught offside and Dover had no hesitation in taking the points on offer. At this stage the penalty count was really racking up against us and we need to get a better understanding of the offside rule.Following a missed touch from Ashford, Dover were back on the attack and a slick back line movement saw Dover score the first try of the second half. Their kicker who was having a good day added the extras.At this stage the game looked like it might be slipping away from us, but from the restart a determined forwards move saw a Tom K carry and rather than go for the line himself he passed to Ewen who scored a well deserved try. Dan again missed a difficult conversion.At this stage Ashford were beginning to get the upper hand and were dominating the scrums to such an extent that it really didn’t matter who had the put in, the ball was coming back on the Ashford side. Also Mason and Max were putting in strong tackles to keep Dover at bay. However, a lot of Ashford’s play was being punctuated by handling errors and a rather static back line.The next score came from a Dover lineout. A long ball over the top was pounced on by Josh who sprinted to touch down in the corner. This time Jerome had no luck with the conversion, but now there was only six points between the sides.Another penalty for Dover saw the kick just miss the posts. A real feature today was some excellent restart kicks from Jerome and from the 22 restart Aaron made a magnificent catch and run to take play into the Dover half. The next phases saw Ashford advance into their opponent’s 22 and a real sense of determination could be sensed from the touchline.An Ashford line out saw Ben execute another good take and as the Ashford pack moved the ball forward the ball was worked back to Ben who crossed for a well worked try. Following a few near misses the pressure of the kick fell to Dan who held his cool to calmly slot over to edge Ashford ahead with only a couple of minutes left.Ashford had to withstand some late pressure, but a touchdown by Dan behind his own line saw the referee bring proceedings to an end and Ashford emerge with a well deserved and satisfying one point win. It is always good to win a close match and after being edged out last week we were not to be denied this week with lots of hard work and determination. Also good to see the scores being shared around with three of our try scorers getting their first scores of the season.Final Score 27-26.Scores: Tries: Teague, Jordan, Ewen, Josh and Ben. Cons Dan (1)MAN OF THE MATCHContenders this week were Ewen for some determined runs and good support play and Josh for a display of what good open side play is all about topped of by a great opportunist try. However this week’s MOM goes to Jordan for his work in our excellent scrum also supplemented by a good try.
|ASHFORD STARTING XV|
|Mason – Tom A – Owen – Jacob – Ben – Kieran D – Jordan– Josh|
|Teaghe – Dan – Ewen– Aaron – Jerome – Reece – Max|
|SUBS – Tom K and Tom G|
|ASHFORD STARTING XV|
|Mason – Tom A – Evan – Jordan – Ben – Kieran D – Tom K – Jacob|
|Teaghe – Jerome – Reece – Aaron – Ewen – Harry – Max|
|SUBS – none|
ASHFORD U 16s .v. Vigo U 16s – SUNDAY 16th November 2014 This Sunday we had Vigo as visitors for a rearranged Kent cup fixture. We had been to Vigo a few weeks ago for a friendly training fixture but it would have difficult to make any predictions based on that encounter. We welcomed back Kachi and Jordan both having served one-match suspensions. The three quarter line had a somewhat unfamiliar look with Andrew being rewarded with a starting place following a big tackling performance last week. From the early exchanges it was clear Ashford had a physical advantage up front. Indeed our pack has been performing well all season and can pretty much hold their own against anyone particularly in set pieces. Kachi was also chomping at the bit following his return and had the first chance of the game but was unlucky to knock on a loose ball. Early Ashford pressure saw Dan bring play into the Vigo 22 following an Ashford penalty. A good line out saw Jordan make ground and Tom K go over for the first score of the game. Dan landed an excellent conversion from near the touchline.From the restart Vigo were awarded a scrum but this was won against the head by a powerful Ashford scrummage. The ball was worked out to Kachi who went on a cross-field run before beating a number of players and scoring under the posts. Dan duly added the extras.The next phases of play saw some Vigo possession and a number of committed tackles from Andrew, Ewen and Josh who was doing some great work cleaning up loose possession. Unfortunately Andrew picked up a thumb injury and his game was cut short.Another scrum won against the head saw Dan set up another attack. As Vigo tried to counter attack one of their passes went astray and Jerome who had only just come on for Andrew intercepted the loose pass and raced clear to score. Dan again obliged with the conversion.The next Ashford attack saw Jerome put kick ahead and from a resulting scrum Tom K picked up and went over for one of his now familiar trademark tries. This time Dan was unlucky to hit the post with the conversion attempt.The first half ended with some concerted Vigo pressure with Ashford conceding some soft penalties. Good ball retention saw Vigo cross for an unconverted try just before the break.HT: 26-5Vigo started the second half where they had left off and some sustained pressure saw their full back cross for another unconverted try.By this stage Ashford had rotated their subs using the maximum allowed of 7. New boy Arran marked his arrival on the wing with a crunching tackle. Reece who had replaced Teague also figured prominently.Ashford’s first score of the half came from a good back line movement. The ball was moved along the line where Tom K who had joined the line took a pass and went over to score near the corner. Dan who was having a great day with the boot landed a superb conversion.The Ashford pack continued to dominate both scrums and lineouts with Ben and Tom G winning some good line out ball. The final score of the game came for a lineout when Jordan gathered possession and powered forward. Great support allowed Reece to pick up the off load and cross for a very good try.Overall a solid performance and good to get back to winning ways following a few recent disappointments.Final Score 38-10Scores: Tries:Tom K (3), Kachi. Jerome, Reece Cons: Dan (4)MAN OF THE MATCHA difficult choice this week with many stand out performances in a very dominant pack. Tom K had another 3 try haul (that is the third time this season!). Josh made some great tackles and did a lot of clearing up which can go unseen. However based on his excellent kicking this weeks MOM goes to Dan.
|ASHFORD STARTING XV|
|Mason – Tom A – Evan – Tom G – Ben – Jordan – Tom K – Josh H|
|Teaghe – Dan – Kachi – Andrew – Aaron – Ewen – Max|
|SUBS :- Owen – Jacob T – Kieran D – Sacki – Reece – Jerome – Arran – Harry|
Sick Bay:- Alex P with shoulder and ankle and Kieron S with a broken wrist. Good to see both lads come down to support the team.
ASHFORD U16s v. BLACKHEATH B U16s – 19th OCTOBER 2014
Another good day for the noble game, but on this occasion we found ourselves minus half a dozen bodies due to the demands of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. Obviously the D of E needs to be updated to include rugby on Sunday mornings ! Despite the absences we still had 11 forwards and 8 backs, so hopefully enough to take on the Blackheath lads in the Kent Cup.
The early exchanges were lively, with the first scrum going Ashford’s way – an indication of what was to come. Blackheath piled bodies forward, but nearly came unstuck when Harry made an interception attempt which didn’t quite come off.
On the second scrum the ball was lost – one of the few that we lost all morning. The Blackheath player made an elusive weaving run and the Ashford tackles failed to land. The try under the posts was converted competently enough by the Blackheath number 12 for an early 7 point lead to the visitors.
Back down the pitch play went putting Blackheath under pressure in their own22. An attempted run out was thwarted by Sakhi’s tackle. Ben made a good line take – another recurring feature of the morning – to set up Tom K for a ball in hand charge. Ayron had a go and Mason made a typically forceful drive. Kachi appeared to have made the breakthrough, but put a foot in touch as he hared down the line.
Blackheath broke out at speed and Jerome slowed things down with a timely tackle on the visitors’ powerful number 21. Josh for his part showed speed of foot when racing to land a couple of telling tackles. Back came Blackheath in the form of their number 8 – whose ground gaining run came to an end when he was forced into touch on the 22. Another line take by Ben and a touch kick by Jerome cleared the lines. And then we got ourselves into a bit of trouble. The ball was turned over on the 22 yard line. Mason and Harry both landed tackles, but the line was under siege.
Harry made another interception attempt, but once again it didn’t quite come off. Josh landed a crunching tackle on the number 21, but Blackheath were not to be denied. The ball went right at pace, with the second ( unconverted ) try being scored by the corner flag. Blackheath were soon applying the pressure again and we piled a bit more on ourselves by needlessly conceding the ball. On this occasion however the defensive tackling was good and the lines were cleared.
At this stage a Blackheath player took a knock, but thankfully nothing serious.
The Ashford lads then gradually worked their way forward. We saw the ball claimed by Ben, followed by a touch kick on the 10 m line from Jerome. Another line take by Ben and the ball moving along the back line. A touch kick into the 22 by Jerome and the line beckoning. At which juncture Jordan and Sakhi came off, with Owen and Alex H making an entrance.
Nick then came off following a knock to the back and Jordan found himself back in the action. Good ball was spoilt due to a handling error, but we still had pressure in the form of a scrum in enemy territory. A poor pass took the heat off and half time was reached with no further scores. But not before we had seen runs from Kachi, Tom K and Josh. And of course a little bit of dribbling from Harry ….
So a 12 point lead to the visitors and all to play for at half time.
The second half started with Ashford eager in the tackle. From a scrum in
the Blackheath half Tom K made a driving run into the 22. A clearing kick and scrum followed before we saw Tom make another blind side break – which was also held up.
Blackheath then stole the ball to transfer the pressure to the Ashford team, but were slowed up by a couple of useful tackles by Kachi. But the try was coming and the visitors’ number 19 dived over in the rught hand corner for a try which went unconverted.
The game ebbed and flowed, with both sides driving forward, only for the defence to hold firm and finally break out. Kachi continued to land a lot of tackles and Ben continued to win line out ball. Finally Ashford were penalized for offside on their 22.Blackheath opted to kick for the posts and the ball was neatly slotted home by their number 10 for a 20 point lead.
Blackheath continued to press with Ayron landing a flying tackle to halt the
runner. Left went the ball – only to find Kyeran S in unyielding mood. Right across the field and then back left again. Finally the breakthrough came to push Blackheath’s lead out to 25 points. Which is where the Ashford fight back started. Suddenly our domination of scrum and line out began to have some end product.The scrum was well won, the ball moved fluently along the ball and Jerome released Kachi. Just as the try looked on, the ball was lost forward going over.A grubber kick by Jerome into the 22 led to a scrum 5. A bulldozing run by Evan sawhim crash over for some welcome points.
We soon put ourselves under pressure, but a sniping run by Ayron took play back up to half way. Evan made another charge, but was stopped by a high tackle. Jerome’s touch kick hit a floodlight support, setting us up nicely for the final act. Another line out take, followed by a massive forward drive. 15 yards – all the way to the line.
An excellent try for Tom K and a final score line of 25 – 10 to Blackheath.
From an Ashford viewpoint a game that was good in parts. If we can make better use of the constant flow of ball from scrum and line out things will certainly improve.
ASHFORD STARTING XV:
JORDAN – EVAN – MASON
BEN – NICK
SAKHI – TOM K. – JOSH
TEAGHE – DAN – KACHI – AYRON – JEROME – HARRY
ON THE BENCH:
ALEX H – OWEN – KIERAN D – RHYS
MAN OF THE MATCH: For running straight, determined tackling and a high level of all round commitment this week’s Man of the Match is AYRON, Well played !
IN THE SICK ROOM / WELCOME BACK
Alex P ( ankle ), Max ( bruised ribs ) and Nick ( wrist and back ) are, I believe,the current casualties. Hopefully back in action sooner rather than later.
Finally, a big welcome back to RHYS. Good to see you back !
ASHFORD U16s v. AYLESFORD BULLS B U16s – 12th OCTOBER 2014
A pleasant enough day for rugby and on this occasion the visitors were billed as Aylesford B, though a few A team players were reputed to be present, so evidently a tough contest in prospect. A full team plus 8 players on the bench gave the coaches plenty of scope for tactical changes and fresh legs when needed.
The early stages were dominated by forward drives from the Bulls and the pressure increased when Ashford were penalized for hands in the ruck. The danger was cleared by a thunderous tackle on the line from Mason.
A scrum 5 was won, a clearing kick by Jerome and a carry by Kachi all combined to clear the lines. Back in the Aylesford half we saw a blind side break and a chip kick from Dan. Jerome soon followed with another kick over the top to increase the pressure. Forceful carries followed from Tom K, Ayron, Jordan and Tom K again but the Aylesford defence held firm. The Bulls gradually cleared their lines, with Mason and Jacob T making good tackles around the fringes of the breakdown. Finally a scrum in the Ashford 22. The ball was won, but nervous passing and handling saw the ball turned over. Left went the Aylesford attack and with 10 minutes on the clock the overlap was sufficient to register the first try.
The game continued to be lively, with Kachi racing into the 22. Meanwhile the rucks and mauls were fiercely contested as both sides strove for possession. Mason had a 10 minute rest as things got a bit excitable. Likewise a Bulls player for a tip tackle on Ben. Evan came on for Jordan and was soon in the action. The Bulls won a line out, but Ashford turned the ball over to set Evan up for a driving run. A line kick by Jerome gave Aylesford the chance to show their well rehearsed line out routine. Tom A landed a determined tackle and shortly afterwards a Bulls player went off with injured toes. Tom K, Dan, Ayron and Evan all made ground with ball in hand but the defensive tackling continued to be sound.
Soon enough the visitors were the ones applying the pressure again. A good clearing kick and a run by Max with Kachi in support relieved things for a while, but Aylesford were not to be denied. Turnover ball, then good crisp passing with the ball carrier well supported. Left they went to be met with a tackle by Max, across to the right and when the ball came back left the try was duly scored. t which point Evan, Ayron and Jacob T took a rest – to be replaced by Alex H and Kyeran S.
The Bulls continued to attack on their left flank, but spoiled things with a forward pass at the vital moment. A couple more substitutions brought Sakhi on for Ewen and Nick on for Ben. Andrew put in a run and Kyeran S made swift ground across halfway, but both were brought to a halt by robust tackles.
There was still time for another hefty tackle from Mason before the half time break arrived with Aylesford 10 points ahead.
The second half started with Dan in lively mode. A blind side break, a chip over the top and a run into the 22 all led to a scrum 5. Sadly the position was not turned into points and the Aylesford break out was vigorous. Passing errors and a handling mistake saw the ball turned over and a third try took the visitors onto 15 points.
Max found himself given an enforced rest and Evan and Jordan replaced Tom K and Tom A. Another turnover on midway and the ball was once again swiftly moved left. Clinical passing and handling resulted in another try and a 20 point lead for the Bulls.
Dan landed a decisive tackle on an opponent roughly twice his own size, but the defence was now wobbling. A long break by the Aylesford runner, featuring use of the hand off produced another try – under the posts, but somehow not converted. Ben made a central break and Mason another crunching tackle before Harry treated usto his dribbling skills. Finally the long awaited Ashford try – featuring a most curious build up. Jerome’s kick found touch just 5 yards from the Aylesford line. Nick made a clean take, but somehow the attacking platform was mysteriously transformed into ascrum some 20 yards further back. Which turned out to be ideal ! Teaghe’s tackle on the Aylesford scrum half saw the ball spilled loose. Sakhi picked up and peeled left off the back of the scrum. His solo break carried him all the way, with a final celebratory dive to put some points on the board.
Once again the Bulls response was prompt and once again down the left hand side of the pitch – coaches please note ! Another try plus conversion took Aylesford onto 32 points. Kyeran S took a rest, with Kachi joining the fray , but stil lthe play continued to be in the Ashford half. A good line out take by the Bulls in the 22, Ashford failed to pick up the runner and another try was duly registered – the post unluckily denying the conversion.
In the final minutes the Ashford line remained under pressure. Ben and Nick both landed tackles and Max made a try saver, but the lines weren’t being cleared. Another loose pass led to a final try for the Bulls and a 42 -5 victory to the visitors.
Another spirited performance by the lads, but in the last analysis Aylesford’s stronger defence was the decisive factor. Their consistency of tackling is something for us to emulate.
ASHFORD STARTING XV
MASON – TOM A – EVAN
TOM G – BEN
JACOB T – TOM K. – JORDAN
TEAGHE – JEROME – DAN – EWEN – AYRON – KACHI
ON THE BENCH
ANDREW – OWEN – KIERAN D – KYERAN S – SAKHI – ALEX H
MAN OF THE MATCH
Not the largest member of the squad, but constantly involved in the action and fearless in the tackle.. This week’s Man of the Match is DAN H. Well done Dan !
IN THE SICK ROOM
Good to see Alex P on the touchline last Sunday. Currently out of action due to a torn ankle ligament. Hopefully back in action soon.
ERITH U 16s v. ASHFORD U 16s – SUNDAY 5th October 2014
This Sunday saw us travel to Erith following the late withdrawal of Vigo from the cup. A slightly smaller squad of 19 travelled with some players either having other commitments or given the day off.
The first half started positively with Ashford dominating possession and bossing the set pieces. A win of a scum against the head saw Tom K carry the ball forward into the Erith 22. At the breakdown Ashford won a penalty and following some wise counsel from the sideline, Jerome elected to kick for goal and coolly added the 3 points.
Ashford were soon back on the attack and following a sweeping backline movement Ewen went in for the game’s first try. From the kick off an excellent take and run by Owen put Ashford back on the attack. Some great link up play released Kachi to cross the line only for play to be called back for a foot in touch. Further pressure saw Ashford awarded another penalty in the opposition 22 and Jerome duly added the 3 points.
Ashford were playing some great rugby, Kachi was unlucky when he looked to have scored, only for play to be called back again. Ashford at this stage were relentless and following some good work by Ben and Jerome, Max was released and scored in the corner. The next phases of play saw a brilliant turnover by Ben to set up a move for Max to release Kachi and this time the score stood.
A scrum in the Erith 22 led to Ashford’s final try of the half with a touch down by Tom K following a trademark run from the base of the scrum. Jerome added the 2 points having been unlucky with the previous conversions from difficult angles.
The half finished with a weaving run by Harry from one 22 to the other following Erith’s only foray into the Ashford 22.
Erith came out in the second half looking more organized and determined and a sustained period of Erith possession and pressure ensued. The Ashford defence was resolute and Max and Ewen both made try saving tackles. Eventually the Erith pressure told and they crossed for what turned out to be their only score of the game.
Gradually Ashford took back control without perhaps reaching the same intensity of the first half. A pleasing feature was the number of times the ball was moved out wide with the wingers seeing plenty of the ball. Some promising moves could easily have resulted in more scores with a bit more composure. Ashford’s lineout was working well with Ben cleaning up possession. The scum was solid and Tom K scored two further tries with runs from the base of the scum. Both were converted by Jerome to bring the final score to 42-5.
Scores: Tries: Tom K (3), Ewen, Max, Kachi. Cons: Jerome (3). Pens Jerome (2)
MAN OF THE MATCH
There were several stand out performances this week. Katchi seems to have developed velcro on his hands and caught and held everything and was unlucky not to score 2 or 3 more tries. Jerome was very influential at outside centre. Among the forwards Ben was immense both at the lineout and open play and was responsible for getting several turnovers of possession. Tom K was a potent threat in a very effective back row and this week managed to vary the point of attack to great effect. However, man of the match as chosen by the Erith coach goes to Ewen. A try and several key tackles including one try saving tackle which the Erith coach singled out as very impressive.
ASHFORD STARTING XV
Mason – Tom A – Evan – Alex H – Ben – Jacob T – Tom K – Josh H
Teaghe – Dan – Kachi – Ewen – Jerome – Kyeran S – Max
SUBS – Owen – Kieran D – Harry – Aaron
Thanks to Erith for accommodating the fixture at short notice and we look forward to welcoming them at home in the cup on 16th November.