St Ives Hakes 20 v 6 Plymouth Argaum
Last Saturday the St Ives 1st XV welcomed Devon side Plymouth Argaum to Alexandra Road. Head Coach Paul Thirlby was able to name another strong side, new signing Jamie Hoskin is welcomed into the second row with Neil Corin coming in at flanker to replace the injured Cameron Bone just before kick-off. Lewis Thomas was available for selection this weekend and was named at full back.
The game kicked off in blustery conditions with a strong wind blowing down the pitch from the clubhouse end; in the early exchanges the Devon side took full advantage of the wind at their backs when they kicked a lengthy penalty on 8 minutes from the boot of fly half Tom Richards when the Hakes had strayed offside.
Despite going behind it was clear that the St Ives players were more than a match for their Devon counterparts in both defence and attack. Attacking into the wind they showed excellent promise as they patiently built their attack through the forwards. With the try line in sight the ball was despatched to the flank into the arms of full back Lewis Thomas who scored the first points for the home side to put the Hakes 5 points to 3 up with 15 minutes gone.
The Devon side went about their task well and showed some of the form that has seen them riding high in the league so far this season. The St Ives defence however was working well and was able to keep Argaum at arm’s length. Another opportunity for the Devon side to add to their score was provided when the Hakes lost concentration at a breakdown and gave Argaum’s fly half Richards another chance to kick for the posts from distance. The wind assisted kick was again successful to put them back into the lead by 6 points to 5.
The remainder of the first half saw the St Ives defence keep the Devon side from threatening their try line with a strong display and they managed to turn defence into attack on numerous occasions. In the 38th minute of the half they were awarded a penalty in the Argaum 22, the ball was despatched to the touch line and from the following line out a familiar maul was formed with Captain Ben Taylor at the rear. The St Ives pack was too strong for the defence and marched over the line allowing Taylor to score the try to give the Hakes a precious 10 points to 6 lead at the break as they turned around to play the second half with the wind at their backs.
The second half saw the Devon side struggle to make much headway out of their own half against the strong wind and the St Ives players kept them pinned back in their own territory for long periods. In the 49th minute St Ives extended their lead to 13 points to 5 when Grant Thirlby kicked a penalty. During the next few minutes a good entertaining midfield battle developed between the two sides but it was always the Hakes that seemed to come out on top. In the 64th minute after great pressure on the Argaum try line outside centre Tom Nicholas cut a line through the defence to score near the posts, this time the conversion was added by Grant Thirlby to put the Hakes in control at 20 points to 6.
The St Ives players now sensed the possibility of a 4th try which would secure the all important bonus point try, thus maximising the pressure on their rivals at the top of the league. In the 73rd minute they almost secured it when Neil Corin made a break for the line. As he was tackled he released Tom Nicholas who was tackled just short of the line. He managed to wriggle over to touch the ball down over the try line only to be penalised by the referee for a double movement which ruled out the score and the chance of the bonus point.
A few minutes later the referee brought the game to a close with the scores unchanged at St Ives 20, Plymouth Argaum 6 to confirm the Hakes victory. The result sees St Ives maintain 3rd place in the league 3 points adrift of second placed Bude and 5 points adrift of leaders Withycombe.
The Hakes are back in action again this coming Saturday with an important league match away to second placed Bude. Kick off in North Cornwall is scheduled for 2:30pm. Any travelling support would be very welcome.
St Ives : Jess Tompsett, Ben Taylor (Captain), Ben Jenkins, Jamie Prisk, Jamie Hoskin, Sam Heath, Neil Corin, Martyn Lawrance, Sam Carter, Paul Thirlby, Ryan Bishop, Grant Thirlby, Tom Nicholas, Peter Mabbott, Lewis Thomas.
Replacements: Ben Wheeler, Tony Stevens, Davis Bramwell (All Used).