St Ives 64 v 3 Plymstock Albion Oaks
In their final game of the season last Saturday at Alexandra Road the St Ives 1st team squad welcomed Devon side Plymstock Albion Oaks. With only a point needed to secure promotion head coach, Paul Thirlby, named a familiarly strong line up for the game, which was expected to be a tough encounter following Plymstock’s strong performance against league champions Bude last weekend.
From the start it was evident that the St Ives players were in determined mood. Winger Pete Mabbott took the high ball from the kick off and started an attack that put Oaks on the back foot early on which forced an error in their defence. They were found offside by referee Kevin Williams in the first minute. Grant Thirlby stepped up and slotted the penalty kick to give the Hakes a 3 – 0 lead.
St Ives consolidated their early lead as the forwards began to show the dominance that has been the foundation of the Hakes success all season. Five minutes in a penalty was despatched to the touchline. From the following line out the now trademark maul was formed and the pack marched over the line allowing second row Jamie Prisk to dot down at the rear to score the Hakes first try of the match. The conversion was missed but St Ives was ahead by 8 points to nil.
The St Ives players were showing a confidence in their play that has not always been present this season and there was little or nothing coming from the visitors in reply. In the 7th minute Oaks did get a sight of the posts from a penalty following a mix up in the St Ives defence. Fly half Oliver Thomas duly kicked the ball between the posts to give Plymstock their first and only points.
It was another line out in the Oaks ‘22’ that gave the Hakes their second try of the match, when from the back of another dominant maul number 8, Martyn Lawrance, took the ball over the line to score his 20th try of the season. The lead was extended to 13 points to 3, with the conversion chance missed, after 13 minutes.
St Ives was not only showing their dominance up front. The backs were also giving a good account of themselves. On the quarter hour mark outside centre Tom Nicholas made a break up the left side. When the Oaks defence snuffed out that attack the Hakes switched the ball quickly to the right side and a classy passage of play saw Todd Prisk finish off the move with a try in the corner. Again the conversion was missed, but the St Ives lead was now up to 18 points to 3.
One more try would give the Hakes the bonus point and confirm their promotion; it came only 3 minutes later in the 18th minute. Another combination of penalty, line out and maul saw the Hakes once more march towards the Oaks line. This time Jamie Prisk broke off early and dived over the line to score his second try of the match and the Hakes fourth. Again the conversion was missed, but it was looking as if there was no way back for the side from Devon with the score now 23 points to 3.
With promotion secured the Hakes began to put on a display of rugby which the visitors had no answer to. Oaks did not put any meaningful pressure on the St Ives defence at all during the first half, which must have pleased both the St Ives coaching team and also the sizeable home crowd. In the 28th minute St Ives scored their 5th try of the match when scrum half Sam Carter took an opportunity and claimed a try when he darted between the defence to score. This time the conversion was kicked to make the score St Ives 30, Oaks 3. There was no further score before the referee blew his whistle for half time.
The second half saw the Hakes continue to display the form that has seen them only defeated three times this season. Todd Prisk grabbed his second try of the match in the 42nd minute to open the scoring in the second half; again the conversion was missed, but with the score now 35 points to 3, the result was beyond doubt.
Further tries from Martyn Lawrance with his second of the match, Jess Tompsett, Pete Mabbott, Sam Carter and Tom Nicholas ensured the Hakes went on to confirm a victory that must register as their best performance of the season. The referee brought the game to a close with the final score St Ives 64, Plymstock Albion Oaks 3.
This victory confirmed St Ives promotion back into the Western Counties West along with Bude who are promoted as Champions. The Hakes now go into the close season for a well earned rest ready to regroup for the new season that will commence at the end of August.
St Ives : Jess Tompsett, Ben Taylor (Captain), Ben Jenkins, Jamie Prisk, Luke Collins, Todd Prisk, Cameron Bone, Martyn Lawrance, Sam Carter, Paul Thirlby, Bobby Conroy-Smith, Grant Thirlby, Tom Nicholas, Pete Mabbott, Lewis Thomas.
Replacements : Stuart Milliner, Louis Stevens, Jamie Hoskin (All Used)
More photos, courtesy of Mike Cullin, on the gallery page >