Ashfield 7 v 35 Sleaford
The second match of the weekend’s three way contest was against Ashfield.
Having watched the Mellish/Ashfield game Sleaford had seen a number of danger areas and knew this was not going to be a walk in the park.
The biggest problem with this game was the Sleaford coach’s decision to offer his services as a referee, the Mellish coach having ref’d the first two looked like he could do with a breather and the offer was rather keenly taken up.
The Sleaford kick-off dropped short of the 10 yard line leading to a scrum down to Ashfield on the half way line. Sleaford quickly moved through the gears and started to open the game up.
Having been too eager to be creative from word go in the first match, Sleaford took to this task the right way round – play the game, understand the opponent and exploit.
It didn’t take as long to break through the defence and open up the try line. It was interesting to hear the Ashfield response, ‘focus, dedication and respond’ was the call.
Ashfield (as Mellish) were strong up front and every breakdown was fiercely contested. The positive for Sleaford was as the ball went out wide, all too often it was run back into the melee of the pack and the attack neutralised.
Contrary to this Sleaford pushed the ball wide and looked for supporting players to keep it that way – gaps opening up all over the field, Ashfield, try as they might, just couldn’t get enough bodies across to stop the onslaught. Sleaford started to run in tries from every angle. The Sleaford forwards, not wanting to be left out of the party, decided that they could do it their way too and started numerous breaks down touch lines.
This was going to be another glorious Sleaford weekend and everyone wanted in on the act.
Fair play to Ashfield, they didn’t give up and kept pushing forward but produced another Sleaford immoveable object. Probably more impressive was the defensive play on Sleaford’s own try line than the flair and panache in open play.
Ashfield did finally break through for a try at the end and it was just desserts for a game really well played.