St Ives is able to field a strong looking squad for the match against north Cornwall rivals, Bude, in the eleventh round of the Tribute Western Counties West league. In the pack Jenkins, Taylor, Prisk and Lawrance will remember being on the receiving end of a 28:7 defeat back in March. This proved to be a decisive result for Bude, who went on to become league champions of Cornwall & Devon. St Ives settled for the runners up spot. Nine of the Bude squad survive from that match to play The Hakes on what promises to be a cool and breezy, but dry afternoon.
James Bishop, who played so well throughout the autumn, is stilled side lined. Tom Chandler continues in his latest and newest role at prop, alongside Captain Taylor and ever present Ben Jenkins.
Youthful Jake Clemson, who stood up so convincingly to the test in the matches with Truro recently, partners regular second row, Jamie Prisk.
Head coach, Paul Thirlby, puts his faith in Harry Parton at No8, another player who has shown considerable ability and potential this year. This will be his tenth appearance. Sean Stevens steps down after a run of four matches. Archie McKay takes his place. A competitive looking back row is completed by Martyn Lawrance on the blindside. He is improving with every match, producing some of the form we saw last season, but with signs that he is developing his skill set in passing, off loading and ball retention.
Sam Carter and Paul Thirlby are the half backs, with Liam Jolly available on the bench. Tom Nicholas is on fire service duty, so Jordan Gott will again show his flexibility by partnering the solid Steve Kenward in the centre. Lewis Thomas reverts to full back. Joe Rouncefield gets another opportunity on the wing, getting his first home start for the year. Consistent and direct, Peter Mabbott will make his eighth appearance for The Hakes.
Bude have suffered four defeats, shipping over 250 points, away from home. St Ives is fully aware that this should be a win. The home side is playing its best rugby of the season with form that rivals anyone in the league. However, this is not a time to make assumptions. Bude could enter the fray with ideas of an upset and the determination to match such ambition. With the right approach St Ives will make amends for the disappointment of last March. Only those who come and watch will get the full story.
Kick-off is at 2:30pm.
The full squad is (* = played in the match against Bude last March)
Ben Taylor (Capt)