St Ives 43 v 12 Bodmin
Last Saturday at Alexandra Road St Ives welcomed Bodmin in their latest Cornwall & Devon league game. This game was a warm up for the Hakes as they prepared to have a tilt at league leaders Withycombe this weekend and Head Coach Paul Thirlby brought in two new signings for this match. Bobby Conroy-Smith and Greg Loydall, both from Naval side Culdrose, were brought in to strengthen the back line. Other changes saw Sam Heath move to the second row to replace the un-available Jamie Hoskin, with Sean Stevens starting on the flank. Tony Stevens started at prop and Grant Thirlby moved to fly half to replace his injured brother Paul.
The game was played in very blustery conditions and in the first half the St Ives players battled against the wind towards the clubhouse. Only 2 minutes after kick off the visitors took full advantage of the wind at their backs and decided to kick a penalty attempt from just short of the half way line but the opportunity was missed to keep the scores level.
As the Hakes struggled to cope with the wind in their face Bodmin took full advantage after 13 minutes when a kick through the St Ives defence saw Cody Armstrong gather the ball and race under the St Ives posts to score the opening try, the conversion was added by Jay Taylor to put the visitors ahead by 7 points to nil.
The St Ives players began to find their feet and a method of play against the blustery wind. Jess Tompsett and Cameron Bone both made good yards with some fine ball carrying which helped to give the Hakes the platform to mount some good attacks. In the 20th minute as the pressure began to mount on the visitor’s line Jamie Prisk collected the ball in the Bodmin 22 and bundled his way over the line to score the Hakes first points of the afternoon, the difficult conversion was missed to make the score St Ives 5, Bodmin 7.
St Ives now was taking full advantage of their superiority up front, their scrum was dominant and this was putting them on the front foot despite the wind in their faces. Following scoring the opening try second row Jamie Prisk was making more of an impact. In the 27th minute he carried the ball through the Bodmin defence and as he was tackled released the ball to Sam Heath who went over to score St Ives second try, the conversion was missed but the Hakes were now ahead by 10 points to 5.
In the 31st minute Bodmin missed another long range wind assisted penalty, but the Hakes were beginning to take control of the match. In the last play of the half another dominant St Ives scrum in the Bodmin 22 saw another opportunity created. Again it was Jamie Prisk who forced his way over the line to score his second and St Ives’ third try. The conversion was missed and the referee brought the first half to an end with the Hakes now leading by 15 points to 7.
Early in the second half prop Ben Jenkins was brought off the bench to rest Jess Tompsett and his very first contribution to the game was to gather the ball on the Bodmin 5 metre line and crash over the line to score the all important 4th and bonus point try. This time Grant Thirlby kicked the conversion to put St Ives ahead by 22 points to 7 with 46 minutes gone.
Ten minutes later with St Ives in control of the match they formed a maul following an attacking line out. The pack marched the visitors defence backwards over their own line, which allowed Cameron Bone to dot down and score the Hakes’ 5th try. Thirlby added the extras to see the Hakes lead stretched to 29 points to 7.
In the 62nd minute St Ives were reduced to 14 men when Jamie Prisk was shown a yellow card for an alleged deliberate knock on. Despite being a man down the Hakes still pressed home their attacks. In the 66th minute the ball was cleared long by St Ives into the Bodmin 22. From the following line out the ball was stolen by Sam Heath who had an excellent afternoon in the air. Stealing Bodmin ball he presented another opportunity for the Hakes to score. This time it was Captain Ben Taylor who showed a good turn of pace to sprint through a gap in the defence to score an excellent try. Again the conversion was kicked by Thirlby to make the score St Ives 36, Bodmin 7.
It was another line out in the Bodmin 22 that set up the final try of the afternoon for the Hakes. This time it was prop Tony Stevens at the rear of a maul who placed the ball over the Bodmin line to register St Ives 7th try. Thirlby converted to make the score 43-7.
The final points of the match were scored by the visitors who in the 78th minute managed to cross wide on the St Ives left through Josh Durrant, the conversion was missed to make the score St Ives 43 Bodmin 12. A few minutes later the referee brought the game to an end to confirm the victory for St Ives.
Following the match St Ives Director of Rugby Joff Rowe commented;
“The team performed well this week. Our forwards dominated play in all areas. Our ball retention was excellent in the windy conditions and our backs also got stuck in and managed the limited attacks from Bodmin very well. It has been a challenging month and I believe the squad has grown in confidence throughout. This coming weekend we travel to Devon to take on the league leaders. This certainly will be our most challenging venture this season so far. Thank you to the wonderful support that has braved the conditions over the past few weeks. Finally, well done to Jamie Prisk, Ben Taylor and Tony Stevens for their contribution to the match. Also to Jess Tompsett for his first half performance and of course Cameron Bone for his man of the match performance."
The Hakes are back in action in Devon this coming Saturday against league leaders Withycombe, kick off in Devon is scheduled for 2:30pm. Any travelling support would be very welcome.
St Ives : Tony Stevens, Ben Taylor (Captain), Jess Tompsett, Jamie Prisk, Sam Heath, Sean Stevens, Cameron Bone, Martyn Lawrance, Sam Carter, Grant Thirlby, Greg Loydall, Bobby Conroy-Smith, Pete Mabbott, Lewis Thomas.
Replacements : Ben Jenkins (Used), Louis Stevens, John Trewhella (Used).