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Hakes Leave Burnham All At Sea

St Ives 39 v 5 Burnham on Sea

Last Saturday St Ives welcomed Somerset side Burnham on Sea to Alexandra Road for their latest Western Counties West league encounter.

Head coach Paul Thirlby named a side with only a few changes from last weekend’s victory over Tiverton. Pete Mabbott replaced the injured Harry Parton on the flank with Liam Jolly starting at scrum half. Dan Rutter moved to the bench alongside Joe Burton and Peter Skeggs.

In bright sunshine St Ives had the perfect start when Pete Mabbott crossed for an early try after only 2 minutes play to give the Hakes a 5 points to nil lead. It soon became clear that the home side had the advantage over their rivals from Somerset and kept them pinned back in their own half for long periods. Quick ball and crisp passing brought considerable territorial gain for St Ives. Burnham did well to soak up the pressure.

In the 20th minute a kick to the corner from a penalty that had seen a Burnham player yellow carded. The Hakes scrum half, Liam Jolly, marked his return to the side with a try to double the St Ives lead to 10 points to nil. The kick from the touch line went just wide. It would not be a day for the goal kickers.

Burnham was struggling to break out of their own half as St Ives kept up the pressure on them. The solid play from the St Ives forwards was continually providing good opportunities for the back line to run at the visitors defence. In the 23rd minute right wing Jacob Ninnes scored a well-deserved try, his third this year, in the corner, to put the Hakes further ahead on 15 points to nil. The winger took a number of high balls and made plenty of metres, the Burnham defence often too slow in chasing their kicks.

Next on the scoresheet was St Ives centre Joe Parma when he danced through the Burnham defence to score a fine try which this time was converted by Grant Thirlby following Jordan Gott’s departure with an injury. What a great asset Parma is proving to be, with four tries in as many games.

With the bonus point secured and St Ives leading by 22 points to nil, it was promising to be a long afternoon for the Burnham players who were surely looking forward to the half time whistle so they could regroup. In what was to be the last play of the half St Ives were awarded an attacking scrum on the visitor’s 5 metre line. With the Hakes forwards dominant, they pushed the visitors back over their own line from a ruck, allowing Captain Ben Taylor to dot down at the rear to give St Ives a 27 points to nil lead at the break.

The second half saw the Burnham players give a stronger performance. They worked tirelessly in defence and enjoyed far more possession. The St Ives scrum was still dominant though, which gave the home side the edge. Burnham began to cross the gain line from deep in their own half with relative ease, their back three in particular showing agility and pace. Only some excellent defending near their line prevented Burnham from getting on the scoreboard.

A number of changes, especially in the backs, meant that St Ives were less incisive, while often over-elaborating things. However, in the 56th minute St Ives scored again with Pete Mabbott grabbing his second try of the match, his seventh of the season. Flanker was no bar to his attacking flair, but he also had a notable tackle count. Thirlby kicked the conversion to put the result beyond doubt at 34 points to nil.

St Ives lost replacement Dan Rutter to a yellow card on 64 minutes for an offence at a ruck as Burnham pushed forward looking for their first points of the match. In the 76th minute the pressure from the visitors was rewarded with a try by ‘Oti’. It was no more than they deserved and their delight was plain for all to see.

Despite conceding for the first time in the match St Ives bounced back and, in the final play, number 8 Martyn Lawrance capped a fine performance with a try when he stole the ball from a ruck to score. The kick was missed.

The referee brought the game to an end with the final score St Ives 39, Burnham 5. This result sees the Hakes consolidate 6th place in the league table four points behind 5th placed Wadebridge and five points ahead of 7th placed Sidmouth, the latter achieving an unexpected victory at Devonport Services. This win saw St Ives pass 500 points, their 536 putting them second in the league, points against (373) puts them fifth and points difference (163) puts them third.

With no game this coming Saturday the Hakes are back in league action with a local derby away to Truro on Saturday 4th March. Truro face the long trip to Burnham this Saturday, the only match in the league, after the fixture was postponed due to a frozen pitch. Kick off at Truro is scheduled for 2:30pm; any travelling support would be very welcome.

St Ives : Ben Jenkins, Ben Taylor (Captain), Tom Chandler, Jamie Prisk, Jake Clemson, Pete Mabbott, Sean Stevens, Martyn Lawrance, Liam Jolly, Grant Thirlby, Lewis Thomas, Steve Kenward, Joe Parma, Jacob Ninnes, Jordan Gott.

Replacements: Joe Burton, Peter Skeggs, Dan Rutter. (All Used)

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