Ashfield RUFC retained the Nottinghamshire Junior Cup after destroying Bingham RUFC 60-5.
Such was the Ashfield supremacy, Bingham were never in the game as they conceded 10 tries in a total rout by the reigning cup holders.
Going into this game, Ashfield were without influential Simon Downie, Pete Alldread, James Kirk, Dan Wilson and top point scorer Gareth Purnell, all had played their part in helping Ashfield reach the final or gain promotion, but such is their strength in depth, Ashfield were unstoppable.
Head Coach Paul Hodson said: “This was a fantastic team performance, the forwards set the platform and the backs scored the points.
Success is measured in what you win, we have sealed promotion and a cup success in the same season, which is brilliant.
“what a season this has been for the players, officials, supporters and the club. The players can’t wait for our new challenge in Division Three.”
The heartbeat of the side is Tyler Morgan who only a season ago was a replacement for Ashfield’s Development side in their Vase Final. This has been a meteoric rise for this young scrum half, who is fulfilling the potential he showed at junior level.
Billy North commenced the game with an excellent kick-off, high and past the 10m line that saw the Ashfield forward’s pile into their counterparts. This opening encounter had the Bingham players on the back foot and they never recovered.
The high tempo start from Ashfield was typified when Billy North tackled his opposite number, a tackle that had such ferocity it nearly cut the Bingham player in half. This led to a backs move culminating in Rob Kirk crossing the try line for the first of his two tries, with a missed conversion from North, Ashfield held an early 5 point lead.
From an Ashfield line out, outside centre Jono Richardson, who has been superb in the later stages of this campaign and possibly man of the match was next on the score sheet when he broke the gain line and raced in from 45m out. The conversion was missed but Ashfield were well on their way to victory with a 10 point lead.
Within five minutes, Ashfield increased the score when wing Savenaca “Koro” Koroibulileka had the initial break and with Billy North on his outside he gave a delightful pass for North to score Ashfield’s third try. North picked himself up and took the conversion but again missing the opportunity, Ashfield’s lead was now 15 points.
Ashfield were soon back on the score sheet with an unconverted try from full back Tom Childs virtually from the restart making it 20 points to Ashfield, when he raced in at the corner for a great try, North missing the conversion attempt.
Ashfield fifth try came from a solid scrum on halfway, Jono Richardson again broke the gain line, this time playing in Rob Kirk for his second try of the afternoon, this time North made no mistake with his conversion from under the posts.
With the half time whistle reverberating around the grandstand, Ashfield were 27 points ahead. Bingham had very few opportunities in the first half thanks to some fantastic defending from Josh Heald, Chris Houseman, Mark Denman, Greg Utting and Dan Chapman who capped a fine display with a try in the second half.
From the Bingham kick-off the ball was recycled back on their own side that saw them penetrate the Ashfield try line following a 4 minute passage of play. Although Ashfield were disappointed to concede a try, it had no bearing on the outcome of the game, 27 – 5 was now the score.
If the Ashfield dominance needed to be reinforced, from the following kick-off Ashfield were awarded a scrum and when number 8 and Captain Gareth Jones picked up the ball and attacked the blindside there was only one outcome.
Tyler Morgan was in support and when Jones took the tackle, he offloaded to Morgan who with work to do crossed the try line. North who was having trouble from the kicking tee due to the windy conditions, again missed but the points gap was back to 27.
Dan Chapman was next on the score sheet for Ashfield when quick thinking North took a tap penalty that left the Bingham defence turning inside out and with Chapman in close support he played him in for the try, North added the 2 point conversion, 39 – 5 now the score.
Two second half replacements, Adam Roebuck and Ross Bowskill who had both played in the Ashfield’s Development Cup Final defeat the previous week combined for Bowskill to score adjacent to the posts, Roebuck showing his strength to initially break the gain line. North added the 2 point conversion, 46 – 5 now to Ashfield.
Josh Heald was the architect of the ninth try when he gathered a bouncing ball, knocking 2 Bingham forwards aside before the ball was eventually worked to Tom Childs for his second try of the afternoon, North added the conversion.
The last try, shortly before the final whistle was scored by Savenaca “Koro” Koroibulileka who ran in from 30m to score under the posts. This presented an easy chance for a North conversion, one he accepted to give a final score of 60-5.