St Ives is able to field a strong squad to face local rivals Hayle Lions. This will be the first time in several years that the two teams have faced each other in a league match. Recent duals have featured on Boxing Day as 'friendlies'. The last home encounter for St Ives was December 22nd 2012, when they won 18-13. Only five of that squad remain: see who was involved back then.
Ben Taylor (Capt)
Ellis Cox / Jamie Prisk
The pack is strengthened by the return of Neil Corin who plays at open side. He would also add to options in the lineout. The front row remains as selected for last week’s game. Jamie Prisk put in a stint at last week but should be back in the second row where he is making quite an impact. Tom Chandler, try scorer at Honiton, should lock alongside Jamie. Ben Wheeler’s absence was known in advance, but Tony Stevens ensures there is no weakness at prop. Control from Louis Stevens and sheer strength and power from Martyn Lawrance make up a pack that continues to improve. Joel Stevens is available after his 1st Aid course last week. Guy Pallet, who can also play in the backs, completes the forward line up.
Jason Jackson provides the distribution potentially alongside vice-captain, Grant Thirlby, whose goal kicking was excellent last week. Brother and head coach, Paul Thirlby, partnering Tom Nicholas, knows he will not have many more opportunities to battle it out in a local derby. Peter Mabbott continues on one wing. Nathan Allen is still on the injured list. This leaves a couple of options on the wing, with Lewis Thomas, try scorer at Honiton, likely to fill the full back berth. Another new name on the St Ives books is another from the field of rugby league, Sam Carter, who represented the Royal Navy. He may get his opportunity today.
A strong bench and reserve cover, impossible last season, makes up the complete squad.
After a pleasing victory over newcomers, Newquay Hornets, fresh from Cornwall One, Hayle have lost twice. Last week’s defeat by Bude would be disappointing and they will want to do better this week. The Hakes will be zealous in winning well and with another bonus point. Lying 4th in the table, the fixtures provide us with an excellent opportunity to move up. While leaders Withycombe have a relatively straightforward encounter with Paignton at home, Bude entertain Falmouth. They are third and second respectively and only two points above St Ives.
Whatever the final score today, this is also a reunion, an occasion selected today precisely because we are playing our foe from across The Bar. We are delighted to be welcoming Hayle and look forward to a great game and a renewing of friendships.
This is the full line up for Saturday, KO 3:00pm