Ashfield RUFC development side progress to Vase final

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Ashfield’s Development Squad’s are in the final of the Nottinghamshire RFU Knock-out Vase after they beat Paviors 37-18.

Playing with the slope in the first half, Ashfield’s backline pace was evident in the early exchanges with Rob Kirk, Gareth Purnell and the impressive Curtis Green breaking the gain line time and again.

It was therefore surprising when Paviors took the lead with a well taken penalty from 35m out when an Ashfield forward was penalised for not releasing after the tackle.

But this setback did not change the Ashfield game plan and within five minutes of the restart, Ashfield had taken the lead when man-of-the-match Jono Richardson scored a try in the corner to make it 5-3 to the visitors.

This was fitting reward for the inventive play by Ashfield, but within six minutes of the restart, they again found themselves behind when Paviors scored an unconverted try.

Channelling their aggression inwardly, Ashfield hit back through a Gareth Purnell penalty when a Paviors player was penalised for tackling a player without the ball.

Ashfield were now in full flow and it was fitting that Jamie Stevenson scored a try following sustained pressure by the Ashfield forwards.

Jono Richardson started the move with a 30m run and the forwards took the ball on with Chris Houseman and Adam Roebuck both having major parts to play in the move.

Purnell added the two point conversion to give Ashfield a 15-8 lead.

Jono Richardson was the architect of Ashfield’s third try when again he sliced through the Paviors defence and with Rob Kirk on his shoulder, Kirk accepted the pass for a great try.

Purnell this time missed his conversion attempt from a tight angle on the touchline.

Ashfield should have increased their lead further when Richardson fly-hacked the ball 40m and touched the ball down only for the referee to disallow it giving Paviors a 22 drop-out.

Rob Kirk turned provider when he gathered the ball deep in his own half driving towards the opposition. Offloading to Andy Bennett, just inside his own half his dazzling run past six Paviors players put him in for a try under the posts.

Purnell with an easy conversion added the two points giving Ashfield a deserved 27-8 lead.

With half time fast approaching Ashfield switched off allowing Paviors to score a well worked try to cut the gap to 27-13.

With the second half underway Ashfield knew they would have to defend for long periods and if they had opportunities themselves, these would have to be taken.

So unsurprisingly, Paviors reduced the point’s differential to nine points when they scored an unconverted try.

But Ashfield moved through the gears and were encamped in the Paviors 22 for seven or eight phases of play and when a Paviors players entered a ruck from the side. The referee issued a second yellow card when a try looked a certainty.

Second half replacement Tyler Morgan then put himself in a great try scoring run, but at the end of his 45m run he was caught by the Paviors full-back. Morgan again broke from centre field, following some great counter rucking by Chris Houseman and with Richardson in support, the ball was perfectly delivered allowing Richardson to score his second try of the afternoon.

Purnell missed the conversion, but a 14 point lead now existed and it wasn’t long before that lead was extended to 19 points when Billy North scored the last try and points of the game.