St Ives 33 v 19 St Austell
Last Saturday at Alexandra Road St Ives welcomed local rivals St Austell in their latest Western Counties West League encounter.
Following the series of defeats that have marked the start of 2017 the Hakes were keen to register their first victory of the New Year. The late withdrawal of Lewis Thomas brought about several positional changes; Grant Thirlby moved to the wing, brother and coach, Paul, took the fly half berth, while new recruit, Dan Rutter, was at nine. The latter played well in his new role, surely his best position.
The game began well for St Ives when in the 5th minute second row Tom Chandler crashed over for the first try of the match. St Ives had pilled on the attacks with a number of phases. Chandler sold an outrageous dummy to the unsuspecting defence and motored over from the 22. Jordan Gott kicked the conversion from wide out to give St Ives a precious early 7 points to nil lead.
The good start that St Ives had made in the match was continued as they kept St Austell pinned back in their own half for long periods in the first quarter of the match. The pressure was rewarded with another score when centre Steve Kenward, so often the provider, finished off a move to put the Hakes further ahead. This time the conversion was missed to make the score 12-0.
Things were going according to plan for St Ives and their domination on the field was giving them the field position they needed to press home further attacks. In the 26th minute it was new signing Joe Parma that crossed for the try. The conversion by Gott saw the Hakes stretch their advantage to 19 points to nil.
As the first half wore on St Austell managed to get a foothold in the game and began to have some possession. In the 37th minute they suffered a setback when they lost a player to a yellow card for an indiscretion at a breakdown. The home side seemed to respond with a period of lack lustre effort, while the referee played five minutes time added on. Despite being a man down they managed to keep up the pressure on St Ives and were rewarded in the final play of the first half when Shane Johns crossed for their first points of the match. The conversion was missed to make the score at half time St Ives 19, St Austell 5.
The second half began as well as the first for St Ives when in the 43rd minute Steve Kenward crashed over for his second try of the match. Gott added the conversion to increase St Ives lead to 26 points to 5.
St Austell managed to put some plays together and put the Hakes under pressure for several periods in the second half. Their efforts bore fruit in the 55th minute when Chris Ashwin crossed for a try that Cavan Boyer converted to give the Saints hope with the score at 26 points to 12.
St Ives continued to press home their advantage and kept the visitors at bay despite their renewed belief that they could get something from the match. In the 61st minute Joe Parma scored his second try of the match to put the result beyond doubt at 33 points to 12. The experience of Parma, who took the centre spot from 'on duty' Tom Nicholas, was evident throughout the game.
After this St Austell was suddenly winning all scrums with huge drives. This was also the case with their rolling mauls. St Ives had no answer. The final quarter of an hour was made interesting when new signing Joe Burton was shown a yellow card for a late tackle. They managed to keep the Hakes pressed back into their own 22 and, following a series of penalties against the St Ives scrum, the referee had no choice but to award a penalty try to the visitors. Boyer once again converted to make the score 33 - 19.
The final few minutes were played out without any addition to the score to see St Ives claim their first victory of 2017, although the visitors continually pushed for a losing bonus and try bonus.
This result sees St Ives leapfrog over St Austell in the league table and move up to 8th place. With no league game for the Hakes this coming weekend, the next fixture is on Saturday the 11th February away to Devon side Tiverton. Kick off in Tiverton is scheduled for 2:30pm.
The next rugby at Alexandra Road will be the traditional Feast game which is to be held on Monday 6th February. Kick off time is yet to be confirmed, but please check the club website for more information.
St Ives : James Bishop, Ben Taylor (Captain), Ben Jenkins, Tom Chandler, Harry Parton, Archie Mackay, Sean Stevens, Martyn Lawrance, Dan Rutter, Paul Thirlby, Grant Thirlby, Steve Kenward, Joe Parma, Jacob Ninnes, Jordan Gott.
Replacements: Aaron Rowe, Joe Burton, Jamie Hoskin