Honiton 24 : 39 St Ives SW
The St Ives 1st XV squad travelled to Honiton in East Devon for their second away match in the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League. Head Coach Paul Thirlby found himself with a number of 1st team regulars dropping out through injury or work commitments and had to reshuffle his side.
Travel issues for the St Ives team bus meant the kick off was delayed for 10 minutes as the Hakes did not arrive until half an hour before the start. A minutes silence was held for a young school lad who tragically lost his life in a freak accident last weekend in the nearby town of Bradnitch.
St Ives started the game playing down the slope in bright sunshine.
Grant Thirlby started the match with an excellent kick off, Pete Mabbott received the bouncing ball and Ben Jenkins took it on with a powerful run. The ball was recycled quickly but Honiton showed their intent and with a quick turn of pace made their way up the field where they were awarded a penalty for an infringement from the St Ives forwards. Honiton left wing Webber converted the kick to put them 3 points ahead.
On the ten-minute mark the Hakes were awarded a line out and quickly produced their trademark catch and drive. The maul took play to just short of Honiton’s line. Tom Chandler found himself at the back of the ensuing ruck; he picked up and powered himself over for the first try of the match. Grant Thirlby converted, 7 – 3 to the Hakes.
Honiton had a second penalty chance shortly after but this time the opportunity was not taken.
In sunny and warm conditions the St Ives forwards were dominant, a second try from the forwards was always on the cards and when another maul was formed this time it was new signing Jess Tompsett at the rear of the maul and he duly dotted the ball down as the St Ives pack forced the home side back across their own line. Grant Thirlby converted from the touchline with a fantastic strike. 14 – 3 to the Hakes.
St Ives were put under pressure for long periods of the first half but resisted the pressure well. Their discipline and their efforts in defence were second to none and this provided a strong platform for the Hakes to control the match showing great power in the scrum and domination of the opposition’s line out.
Another line out for the Hakes and a pick and drive rather than the driving maul. This time the ball was in the hands of the industrious Ben Jenkins who rumbled over the line for the third try of the afternoon, once again converted by Grant Thirlby 21 – 3 to the Hakes.
Shortly before the first half concluded the Hakes had worked the ball into the home 22 and some great pressure resulted in a line out for them, from this a break was made by the powerful and very versatile Tom Chandler, Tom ran 15 metres evading capture to score his second try and the fourth of the afternoon securing the all-important bonus point, once again converted by Grant Thirlby to make the half time score 28 – 6 to the Hakes.
No changes were made at the start of the second half which saw the Hakes playing up the significant slope.
The opening score of the half was from the home side, once again Webber put a boot to ball and secured 3 points for the home side immediately after the restart; 28 – 9 to the Hakes.
Honiton clearly knew how to manage the sloping pitch and great kicking from hand by the home fly half put St Ives under pressure, this eventually resulted in a defensive error and a try by the powerful Honiton number 8, the conversion was missed; 28 – 14 to the Hakes.
Ten minutes into the second half hard running, strong tackling Louis Stevens was replaced by club stalwart Ben Wheeler with Tompsett dropping to the second row allowing the experience of Wheeler to join the front row. Shortly after this change the club captain Ben Taylor was sin binned for an infringement at a ruck.
With 20 minutes to St Ives made several changes Paul Thirlby replaced Jamie Prisk at inside centre. David Bramwell left the field and was replaced by the Tony Stevens after an absence of almost three years. The fit, trim prop accepted the offer of a place in the back row on his first outing and proved his worth with good game management and control skills. With his younger brother on the pitch Louis Stevens returned to the second row, Tompsett moved back to the front row replacing hard working Ben Jenkins.
Honiton would not give up however and the hard running home centre crashed over for a further try converted once again by Webber; 31 – 21 to the Hakes
St Ives took the next 20 minutes by the scruff of the neck and made sure of the win. Great skill and passing ensued from a powerful scrum managed by Stevens at 8. The ball was moved across the back line and elusive full back Lewis Thomas ran 20 metres to dive over in the corner but unfortunately Thirlby hit the upright from the touchline; 36 – 21 to St Ives.
The home side were gifted a penalty for a defensive obstruction and Webber clawed back 3 points, Grant Thirlby rounded off the afternoon with the boot by converting a penalty in front of the posts.
Final Score 39 – 24 to St Ives
Following the match St Ives Director of Rugby Joff Rowe commented; “we were dominant in the scrum, driving lineouts and also excellent in defence. Two tries scored against us could have been prevented, but bearing in mind the preparation and the hot conditions I was enormously proud and happy with the result.”
This weekend the Hakes are back in action with a league game at home to local rivals Hayle, before the match this weekend the club are holding a reunion of players past and present in the clubhouse from 1:00PM. Following the match the club will be screening the Rugby World Cup game between England and Wales’. Kick off at Alexandra Road is scheduled for 3:00PM.
This year the club has chosen the games at home in the cup and against Hayle to be Charity events, the team will play in a special charity kit and there will be collections on the day in aid of Cancer Research.
St Ives: Jess Tompsett, Ben Taylor (Captain), Ben Jenkins, Tom Chandler, Louis Stevens, Guy Pallett, Dave Bramwell, Martyn Lawrance, Jason Jackson, Grant Thirlby, Ryan Bishop, Jamie Prisk, Tom Nicholas, Pete Mabbott, Lewis Thomas.
Replacements: Ben Wheeler, Tony Stevens, Paul Thirlby. (All used)