Match report: Garstang RUFC 81 Ashton-under-Lyne 19

Garstang beat Ashton-under-Lyne at the weekend
Garstang beat Ashton-under-Lyne at the weekend
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Garstang RUFC secured league leadership for the first phase of the season after an 81-19 defeat of Ashton-under-Lyne.

The game was not as one-sided as the scoreline suggests with Garstang scoring heavily in two or three periods.

Garstang started the game at a breathless pace and within a couple of minutes they had the first try of the afternoon as Sam Tomlinson went over from close range.

From the restart, Andy Tissingh took the ball in midfield and burst through the would-be tacklers before running in for an outstanding individual score.

Ashton showed that they were not just there to make up the numbers as they came straight back at Garstang.

Their ball retention was impressive and, despite strong defence from the home side, they opened their account with a try in the corner.

Garstang came straight back and Edgar Nicholls made one of his trademark breaks to cut the defence open and score another try.

Ashton couldn’t be held back though and they scored another try with more of the same to reduce the deficit to 19-12.

The home side always felt in control and they pulled clear before half-time.

Luke Richmond went over in the corner to score the bonus point try before Adam Riley made a smart break to send the hosts into the interval leading 31-12.

The start of the second half saw an extraordinary sequence of scoring as Garstang blew the visitors away with four tries in as many minutes.

Firstly, Graeme Slater went over for his first of the afternoon before Kieran Davies and Ainsley Pye went over as Garstang fielded the kick-offs and scored without the opposition touching the ball.

The final try of the sequence saw Slater crash over and, with Davies adding all the goals, the score was 59-12.

Gavin Barton bagged a quick brace midway through the half, Slater helped himself to a hat-trick and Joel Dugdale went over in the corner to make it 81-12.

Ashton rolled up their sleeves and got their driving game back in order to score a try with a couple of minutes to play but Garstang’s defence prevented them from earning a bonus point.

The Blues, who have struggled for numbers in recent weeks, travelled to Aspull and they were beaten by 45-5.

On Saturday they are back in action at home to Preston Grasshoppers’ fifths.