St Ives got off to an encouraging start in the first league match of the season. Calm, warm conditions on a flat dry pitch allowed for plenty of open rugby from both teams. Plymstock were eager to show their right to play in a higher league, having beaten Veor in the end of season playoff. And they were no push overs. From the side-lines the St Ives supporters thought the opposition would 'blow' with 20 minutes to go, but this was never the case. St Ives' fitness needs steady improvement.
Communication and basic ball retention, position, reading the game; all are areas for improvement. However, St Ives showed ambition and excellent team spirit, discipline and a strong work ethic to produce a five point bonus win, 36-21.
The newcomers to the side are all worthy of a mention, even in this brief article. Joel Stevens, in for injured captain, Ben Taylor, clearly nervous, played well and for the full 80 minutes. This was a pleasing debut from a local lad. Centre Peter Mabbott, from Helston, showed enough to see that there is a lot of potential. As the 'threes' gel better, his contribution will become increasingly significant.
Jess Tompsett consistently crossed the gain line with strong runs close to the rucks. Martyn Lawrance confessed openly that he is very much in learning mode. He showed terrific strength and is an exciting player to watch. Nathan Allen, on the wing, started with a trip and a slide and then watched a bouncing ball from a long kick go into touch. Mmm. But then his pace and obvious weight/strength ratio was released to fine effect. He, like others, stated that he is delighted to be at the club. We are delighted to have him!
Lewis Thomas has some pedigree. He is the son of Cornwall full back, Kevin, in case you hadn't realised. But he is Lewis, rather than Kevin's son. He showed that he is a young player with ambition and talent. He will be looking forward to the U.20s Cornwall trials later in the season.
So, finally, a big well done to coaches and players, committee and physio. A very different atmosphere pervades than the one that did in the early months of 2015. Supporters; get the fixture list and at least get to the home matches when possible.
Lookout for the match report on the blog page.