Tom Ashton bags 23 points as Rochford Hundred win at South Woodham Ferrers

Echo: Tom Ashton - bagged 23 points for Rochford Hundred Tom Ashton - bagged 23 points for Rochford Hundred

TOM Ashton bagged 23 points as Rochford Hundred won 38-17 at South Woodham Ferrers in London Two North East.

Ashton scored two tries, five conversions and a penalty to ensure Rochford came out on top.

The prolific points scorer broke the deadlock with a converted try before he also added a penalty to make it 10-0.

Woodham hit back with a try of their own when their forwards drove over to score.

The game was frantic during this stage of play with South Woodham trying to force Rochford into making mistakes, while the visitors attempted to run the ball wide using their fast and skilful backs.

From one of these moves, Ashton saw a gap and raced through only to be caught before the try-line.

But he off-loaded the ball to the supporting Matt Stewart, who crossed for a fine try which Ashton converted.

Late in the half the home team clawed back three points with a penalty and turned round at the break 17-10 down.

The second half was a case of Rochford’s superior fitness, power and skill gradually taking over as the hard working and determined home outfit started to tire.

Classy full back Dan Needham, who had been coming into the line all afternoon, broke from well within his own half and glided through the Woodham defence to score.

Ashton added the extra points to extend the scoreline to 24-10, which allowed Rochford some breathing space.

Hundred’s set scrum began to dominate and the tiring Woodham forwards had to defend desperately to keep their opponents at bay.

The boys in black pushed hard for the extra bonus point, which came when Ashton stormed over to score under the posts before adding the conversion.

Late in the game, all-action winger Sam Edwards crashed through for a fifth try and Ashton completed his points tally with the conversion.

With the score at 38-10 the visitors took their foot off the pedal and Woodham took advantage to score a converted breakaway try to make the final score line more respectable.

Rochford remain third in the table and sit eight points behind second-placed Saffron Walden with four games to go.

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