St Austell 32 : 39 St Ives
St Ives took their first win of the season in a thrilling match at Tregorrick Park against St Austell last Saturday.
Head coach Paul Thirlby named himself as fly half for this game and also welcomed back Jamie Hoskin in the second row. Tom Nicholas was available again following work commitments last weekend to strengthen the back line.
St Ives began the game nervously and looked vulnerable to the early St Austell attacks and sure enough the home side took the lead in the 8th minute when the a poor clearance kick put the Hakes in trouble. The error lead to the first try of the match scored by ex St Ives player Hugh Noott, the conversion was added to give the home side an early 7 point advantage.
The Hakes soon put together some attacking rugby of their own and only 4 minutes later found the St Austell defence to be lacking resulting in Liam Jolly crossing for a try out wide on the left, the tricky conversion was missed to leave the Hakes trailing by 7 points to 5.
The St Ives players underlined their intention to get something from the game in the 19th minute when number 8 Archie Mackay stormed over from the back of a 5 metre scrum to put the Hakes ahead for the first time in the match, Jordan Gott added the conversion to put St Ives ahead by 12 points to 7.
With St Ives looking likely to add to their score every time they pushed into the St Austell half of the field, it was the home side that exposed the St Ives defence for the next two scores. In the 25th minute the Saints retook the lead with a converted try from debutant Chris Ashwin (14-12). They extended their lead further when winger Cavan Boyer crossed out wide in the 30th minute (19-12).
The seesaw nature of the game continued as the Hakes once again pushed into St Austell territory in the 35th minute. This time it was a turnover which unlocked the home defence allowing full back Lewis Thomas to score the try that levelled the scores at 19 points each following another conversion by Gott.
St Austell were not finished however and rounded off the half with another try for Chris Ashwin, the conversion was missed and the referee brought the half to a close with the home side ahead by 24 points to 19.
The second half began with the Hakes on the attack and it wasn't long before they retook the lead in the match through prop Ben Jenkins who powered over the line to score a try in the 43rd minute, Gott once again added the extras to give the Hakes a 2 point lead at 24-26. The Hakes lead was extended to more than a score (24-32) when Jordan Gott kicked two penalties to punish the home side for infringements in the own half of the pitch to put the visitors in control as the game entered its last quarter.
Just as it was looking as thought the Hakes were closing in on their first victory of the season back came St Austell with a penalty of their own when the St Ives defence gave away a penalty for holding on to the ball at a ruck. Liam Freeman stepped up and slotted the 48 metre kick between the posts in the 66th minute to set up an exciting finale to the match with the score now St Austell 27, St Ives 32.
With the next score crucial to the outcome both sides gave their all in attack but it was good pressure from the home side that set up a chance out wide for their winger Jack Nelson who acrobatically dived over the line to score a controversial try in the 75th minute, The conversion was missed but St Austell were back on level terms with the score 32 points each.
The final 5 minutes were frantic as both sides looked to make the chance that would win them the game. With time running out it looked odds on as though the game would end in a draw but St Ives made a break and kicked ahead, a lucky bounce saw a St Ives player re-gather the ball only to be hauled back by the scruff of his neck prompting the referee to blow his whistle and march under the St Austell posts to award a penalty try in the 78th minute. The conversion was added by Gott to give the Hakes a 7 point lead at 39 points to 32.
The referee brought the game to an end a couple of minutes later to confirm St Ives first victory of the season.
The St Ives players will be back in league action on the 22nd October when they welcome Devon side Tiverton to Alexandra Road. Kick off is scheduled for 3:00pm.
St Ives : James Bishop, Ben Taylor (Captain), Ben Jenkins, Jamie Hoskin, Harry Parton, Martyn Lawrance, Sean Stevens, Archie Mackay, Liam Jolly, Paul Thirlby, Peter Mabbott, Steve Kenward, Jordan Gott, Tom Nicholas, Lewis Thomas.
Replacements : (All Used) Jamie Prisk, Tom Chandler, Jon Wright.