SEAHAM were made to pay for turning up with depleted ranks as they were hammered 44-12 at Ashington.
The squad travelled with just 17 players after several cry-offs and no-shows. The remaining players battled hard but it was an uphill struggle from the start.
The home side went ahead when second row Andy Hogwood kicked for touch but fluffed his attempt and the Ashington backs caught the ball and tore upfield to cross the line.
Ashington doubled their lead on 11 minutes when they drew in the Seaham defence, created an overlap, and their left winger sprinted over in the corner. Once again, the hosts’ centre missed the conversion.
Seaham fought hard but their good work was blown out of the water in the 19th minute when a handling error by Brad Green at the base of a scrum saw his opposite number steal the ball and spray it left, resulting in another unconverted try.
Seaham continued to defend stubbornly for long periods and even countered well with flanker James Ramshaw, Kurt Miller, Jonny Martin and fellow pack members carrying strongly.
However, a kick from Brad Green was charged down and Ashington went through again for a bonus point try under the posts. The conversion was slotted and the hosts were now 22-0 ahead.
A penalty stretched the lead to 25-0 but Seaham had the last score of the half. Mark Wilson picked up from the base of a ruck and headed for the line but he was held short.
Big prop Kamran Zamir grasped possession and drove over the line for his first try in a Seaham shirt. Hardie’s conversion was successful.
Seaham competed well in the second half until the hour mark when Steve Meir made a tackle and cynically attempted to push the ball back with his hand. The transgression was spotted by the referee, who issued a yellow card.
From the resulting penalty, Ashington took a tap and, following several phases, drove over for a try to cross the 30-point mark and it was soon 37-7 with another converted try.
Another try had Ashington coasting but Seaham made the final impact on the scoreboard when Brad Green saw a gap in the Ashington defence and kicked way behind it. He won the race for the ball and after some clever recycling by their forwards, John Dixon drove over for a well-deserved try.