HORDEN clinched a “Colliery double” over Ashington – but only just.
It was a hard-fought victory, Horden holding on at Welfare Park after almost letting it slip at the end.
Already minus Andrew Turner, Paul Bruce and David Mason, Horden were forced to make further changes in the three-quarters, with the injured Jonny Morton being replaced by John Hudson at stand-off before Craig Jones pulled his hamstring in the warm up with young Ross Brymer stepping in at full-back.
Playing down the bank in the first half, Hordentook the game to the Ashington.
Horden had an opportunity when Chris Purvis made a break down the touchline and fed Brymer only for him to put a foot in touch just outside the 22.
With the pack dominating, the hosts were awarded a penalty but Hudson put his shot wide.
Horden continued to create opportunities out wide but failed to capitilise, play tending to drift across the pitch rather than running straight.
Against the run of play, Ashington scored first. Horden mishandled 30 metres out, with the Ash winger picking up. He was tackled just short by Steven Heckles but offloaded to a supporting player who touched down for the try.
Horden responded in decisive fashion. After a period of pressure in the away 22, Horden were awarded a five-metre scrum and drove the visitors over their own line for a pushover try for Ryan Pink.
Hudson converted and landed a penalty to make it 10-5.
And Horden made it 15-5 just before the break after kicking deep to force Ashington to clear to touch. From the line-out catch and drive, Neil Hartley chipped over the defence for Scott Holloway to score an unconverted try.
Ashington raised their game at the start of the second half, putting Horden under quite a bit of pressure.
The Northumberland team kept their hosts penned inside their own 22 and after a series of penalties crashed over from a tap penalty to make it 15-10.
Ashington came back at Horden again and it required some strong defence, with Newton Turton and Owen Bennett to the fore, to keep them out.
Horden then went close twice. They lost the ball close to the line after Purvis was hauled down just short and after creating an overlap down the right, they were unable to put David Heckles in the clear.
Ashington worked their way back into home territory and won a penalty inside the 22 near the end.
Instead of kicking to touch to go for the catch and drive, they went for goal.
While they were successful with the kick to make it 15-13, the game was over not long afterwards and Horden were the winners.
Head coach Glenn Bowman said: “It was a really good performance by the pack who had the edge over their bigger opponents all afternoon.
“But what was really disappointing was the way we spilled ball far too easily and far too often in the threes,
“There was only two points between the sides at the end but if we’d taken the chances we’d created the win would have been much more comfortable.
“The lads grafted hard all afternoon and deserved the win.”
Late call-up Hudson had a solid game while Brymer continues to impress.
Other results: Gateshead 38 Ryton 15; Gosforth 9 Darlington 60; Medicals 15 Alnwick 29; Novocastrians 30 Redcar 8; tockton 35 Ponteland 0; Wallsend 20 Sunderland 5.