St Ives 52 v 10 Crediton
In what was their last home game of the season the St Ives 1st XV welcomed Devon side Crediton to Alexandra Road. In the corresponding fixture in Devon the result went the way of Crediton by 17 points to 13, so the St Ives players had a point to prove.
Head coach Paul Thirlby named a very similar side to last weekend when the squad travelled to Wellington. Tom Chandler returned at prop which allowed Captain Ben Taylor to move back to hooker replacing the injured Sean Stevens. Sam Carter, Joel Stevens and Joe Burton made up the replacements.
It was clear from the kick off the Hakes intended to put right the defeat at Crediton last December. In only the 3rd minute a Jordan Gott kick ahead was mis-handled by the visitors defence. Archie Mackay gathered the ball and released centre Tom Nicholas to score the opening try of the afternoon, his seventh of the season. The conversion was missed to give St Ives a lead of 5 points to nil.
Crediton proved in the next 10 minutes that they weren't there just to make up the numbers and they pinned St Ives back in their own 22. This is a side that had four of the last five matches, making them one of the form sides in the league. The St Ives defence was in resilient mood, however, and they prevented the visitors from converting their considerable pressure into points. This was to be a feature of the game until the last quarter.
In the 21st minute as the Hakes broke out of their own half after a long period defending. It was scrum half Dan Rutter who rounded off an excellent counter attack to score the second St Ives try. This time Gott kicked the conversion to put the Hakes 12 nil up.
The pattern of the game was partially dictated by the referee, who maintained good control in a clean, aggressive contest. The remainder of the first half saw St Ives begin to take control. Their pressure began to force the visitors defence into errors which saw them on the wrong side of the referee’s decisions on numerous occasions. In the 32nd minute in was centre Steve Kenward who grabbed the next St Ives try. Again Gott added the conversion to increase the Hakes advantage to 19 points to nil.
Only two minutes later and St Ives were pressing again. A fine break by Tom Nicholas gave Ben Taylor the opportunity to score the bonus point try for St Ives, sprinting away from the defence from the 22 metre line. Gott added the extras from in front of the posts. The result was beginning to look beyond doubt at 26 points to nil, bonus point in the bag.
St Ives weren't finished, however, in the first half, and with only 3 minutes left on the referee’s watch, Martyn Lawrance grabbed his 8th try of the season. Gott kicked the conversion to make the score at half time St Ives 33, Crediton nil.
The second half began with Crediton looking determined to get some points. Again they had long periods of possession in the first minutes of the second half, but came away with nothing to show for it, largely due to the competent defensive display by the St Ives players.
In the 59th minute prop Tom Chandler made a break which punched a hole in the visitor’s defence allowing Captain Ben Taylor to score his second try of the match. The conversion, from out wide on the left, was superbly kicked by Gott to put the Hakes 40 points to nil ahead.
It was Jordan Gott himself that made an impressive break only two minutes later. He offloaded the ball to left wing Lewis Thomas who had the legs to beat the visitors defence and score the try out wide on the left. Again Gott kicked the conversion from an impressive angle to make the score 47-0.
After many attempts to break through the St Ives defence Crediton finally managed to score a try of their own in the 68th minute when Ed Brady crossed for the score. This was nothing more than they deserved. Jake Attwood missed the conversion to make the score 47-5.
St Ives got their final points of the match in the 76th minute when Martyn Lawrance grabbed his second try of the match with an outrageous dummy. The slender gap became a chasm and the hard working no.8 romped home for his reward. After the game he admitted that he was aware that this try made him equal top try scorer; a typical and honest comment from a reliable member of the squad. This time the conversion was missed, but the score had moved beyond 50 points to 52-5.
It was Crediton who had the final say in a highly entertaining match played in bright spring sunshine. In the final play Cam Huxtable crossed for the try. Matt Dayment missed the conversion to make the final score St Ives 52, Crediton 10.
This result sees St Ives confirm at least a 6th place finish in the Western Counties West division. They move to only one point behind Wadebridge with one game to play.
The next rugby action at Alexandra Road is the traditional Easter fixture on Good Friday against the Imperial Medics. Kick off in St Ives is scheduled for 2:30pm. The final fixture for the 1st XV is on Saturday 22nd April away to Cullompton. Kick off in Devon is scheduled for 3:00pm; any travelling support for the Hakes final game of the season would be very welcome.
St Ives : Tom Chandler, Ben Taylor (Captain), Ben Jenkins, Jamie Prisk, Harry Parton, Archie Mackay, Pete Mabbott, Martyn Lawrance, Dan Rutter, Grant Thirlby, Lewis Thomas, Steve Kenward, Tom Nicholas, Jordan Gott, Joe Parma.
Replacements: Sam Carter, Joel Stevens, Joe Burton (All Used)