Bude 35 v 22 St Ives
Last Weekend the St Ives 1st XV travelled to the north of the county to face Bude in their latest Western Counties West league game.
Head coach Paul Thirlby was forced to shuffle the pack. Captain Ben Taylor once again moved up to prop, alongside Tom Chandler, with Joel Stevens at hooker. Jamie Prisk returned in the second row. Sam Carter returned from overseas duty to sit on the bench, making his first appearance since 17th December against Devonport Services. Dan Rutter started at scrum half. The rest of the backs were as for the home match against Wadebridge a fortnight ago, bar Tom Nicholas.
Bude began the game well; in the bright sunshine at Bencoolen Meadow they put St Ives under pressure in the opening stages with effective use of their scrum and the maul. Good defensive work from St Ives kept the home side at bay for the first quarter of an hour.
The first points of the game came when Bude full back Dan Pearce got hold of the ball just inside his own half. He used his considerable speed to outpace the St Ives defence around the outside to score the try. The conversion was missed, but Bude had the lead at 5 points to nil.
The pattern of the game continued with Bude applying the pressure up front. The Hakes had a penalty chance in the 24th minute in front of the posts, but the kick was missed. Just over the half hour mark and it was Dan Pearce again. He took apart the St Ives defence with his blistering pace to score his second try of the match to double Bude’s lead to 10 points to nil.
As the half wore on the St Ives players got more into the game and started to have more possession. It wasn’t until the last play of the half, however, that they scored their first points. Prop Tom Chandler found himself out wide on the left and finished off an attack by breaking the tackle of the Bude defender and stretching out an arm to score St Ives’ first points of the match, his eighth in eighteen games. The conversion was missed to make the half time score Bude 10, St Ives 5.
The second half began with the home side extending their lead in the 43rd minute from the boot of Dan Pearce to 13 points to 5. St Ives coach Paul Thirlby rang the changes in the 45th minute bringing on all three players from the bench and the decision was almost instantly rewarded. Replacement Pete Mabbott made a break in the 49th minute from a wayward Bude lineout and offloaded the ball to flanker Archie Mackay who raced through to score St Ives’ second try. Jordan Gott kicked the conversion to make the score Bude 13, St Ives 12.
The home side looked determined not to let St Ives back into the game and again used their scrum and maul effectively. This gave them a good solid attacking platform and in the 56th minute they again broke through the St Ives defence to score another converted try.
Now trailing by 8 points, at 20 – 12, the St Ives players showed signs that they could get something from the game. In the 65th minute full back Jordan Gott scored a fine individual try when he ghosted through the Bude defence to score. He converted himself to make the score 20-19. This also took Jordan over the 200 points mark for the season. He remains the only player to have appeared in every league match for the season.
The home side were in determined mood, however, and replied with a converted try in the 70th minute to take extend their lead again to 8 points with the score 27-19.
A Gott penalty in the 74th minute gave St Ives hope at 27 points to 22, but it wasn’t to be for the Hakes. The last 5 minutes of play saw the home side kick a penalty and in the last play of the game, with St Ives pressurising the Bude line, a floated pass out wide was intercepted by Dan Pearce who ran the length of the pitch to score his third try of the match. The conversion was missed, but the referee blew his whistle to confirm the victory for Bude by 35 points to 22.
With three games remaining St Ives remain in 6th place in the league table six points adrift of Wadebridge and four points ahead of Sidmouth. This weekend brought some remarkable results, most of which favoured St Ives. Fifth placed Wadebridge lost at home to lowly Crediton to keep them in sight. Seventh placed Sidmouth lost at home to bottom club Wellington. This is the first time since January 14th that The Hakes have failed to get at least a point from the game. This coming Saturday St Ives make the long trip to Wellington, kick off in Somerset is scheduled for 3:00pm any travelling support would be very welcome for what will be a tough test.
St Ives : Tom Chandler, Joel Stevens, Ben Taylor (Captain), Jamie Prisk, Harry Parton, Archie Mackay, Sean Stevens, Martyn Lawrance, Dan Rutter, Grant Thirlby, Lewis Thomas, Steve Kenward, Joe Parma, Jacob Ninnes, Jordan Gott.
Replacements: Sam Carter, Pete Mabbott, Peter Skeggs (All Used).