Sunderland’s self-destruction

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A 20-MINUTE horror show saw Sunderland ship four tries to lose 19-22 to Ashington at Ashbrooke.

Despite a strong start and tries from Richard Arrowsmith, Martin Watt and Ross Finch, Sunderland self-destructed in the space of 20 minutes, either side of half-time, to hand Ashington all their points.

Sunderland opened their account in the first few minutes when Captain Watt opted to kick to the corner from a penalty.

A well-practiced lineout move allowed Arrowsmith to power through a number of defenders to score, with Greg Littlewood converting.

After having a long spell of possession, Sunderland were unable to capitalise and found themselves conceding three tries in the space of 10 minutes before half-time.

The second half started as the first ended, with Sunderland’s performance looking lethargic and Ashington quickly scored their final try of the day making it 22-7.

This made the Ashbrooke side step up a gear and it was not long before they cut the deficit.

It came from another perfect lineout move which saw Watt beat off tackles and rumble home from 40 metres out.

Sunderland’s final try came after Finch found enough space to dive over in the corner. Littlewood converted to ensure a nervy final 10 minutes.

Sunderland missed a chance to win the game in the final play as Ashington’s ill-discipline handed a penalty to the home side which was kicked to the corner. However, the resulting lineout was turned over and kicked out of play for the final time.

Meanwhile, there was better news for the seconds and thirds who both recorded good wins.

Sunderland II beat Ashington II 22-17 with tries from Chris Geehan, Michael Brace, Sam Jermy and Craig O’Donovan and a conversion by Dan Hinder.

Sunderland III defeated Houghton 38-20, tries coming from Fish, Graham, Jackson, Watson and Watt (2) with Grainger getting four conversions.

H Seaham open up nine-point lead after another home win, Page 37.