Cullompton 50 v 22 St Ives
For what was their last game of the season, St Ives travelled to the side in second place in the Western Counties West league; Cullompton. Head coach, Paul Thirlby, named several changes to the side, including Joe Rouncefield on the wing. Lewis Thomas moved to full back. With no Joe Parma available, Jordan Gott played in the centre and Josh Palmer on the left wing. Joel Ninnes and John Trewhella came on to the bench.
The game began strongly for the home side and after only 11 minutes they commanded a 14 points to nil lead, thanks to tries from Adam Pearce and Alex Brooks. Both were converted by Adam Pearce leaving the Hakes chasing the game early on.
After 15 minutes St Ives got a breakthrough when, from a cleverly executed line out, prop Tom Chandler went over for the Hakes first points of the afternoon. Jordan Gott kicked the conversion to make the score 14 points to 7. Gott was unlucky only 2 minutes later, when a cleanly struck penalty hit the upright, denying St Ives from reaching double figures.
The longer the first half went on, the more St Ives got into the game. The pack suffered a setback when try scorer Chandler limped off with an ankle injury after 25 minutes, forcing Thirlby to shuffle the pack. However, it was St Ives who grabbed the next points through the boot of Gott on 31 minutes to make the score 14 points to 10.
Despite the Hakes forcing their way back into the game it was the home side who had the last say of the first half, when they scored a try through Lewys Ryan. Again Pearce converted to make the half time score Cullompton 21, St Ives 10.
The second half was nothing but entertaining with both sides scoring tries. The first was scored by the home side when Jeremy Turner dotted down, with Pearce again converting. From the restart it was the Hakes on the attack again and this time it was scrum half Dan Rutter who cut through the home defence to score. No conversion this time to make the score 28 points to 15.
Cullompton continued to show the form that has seen them confirm a second place finish in the league this season, earning them a play-off position for a promotion spot. St Ives, however, continued to compete and give a good account of themselves. In the 59th minute the boot of Pearce extended the home side’s lead to 16 points and in the 70th minute Josh Luxon put the result beyond doubt with an unconverted try out wide on the left, to make the score 36 points to 15.
Archie Mackay grabbed a well-deserved try for St Ives in the 72nd minute that was again converted by Gott to give St Ives hope of a bonus point at 36 - 22 but it was not to be.
Cullompton grabbed a further two tries both scored by James Shere. The first was converted by Pearce, but the second was converted by Cullompton’s captain, Sam Harris, who was celebrating his last appearance as skipper, to make the final score Cullompton 50, St Ives 22.
The result was a fair reflection of the match, but a little flattering in as much as the score line did not truly represent how much St Ives were in the game. This was commented on after the match when it was pointed out that no other side has visited Cullompton and put 22 points on them this season.
The result also confirms St Ives as finishing in 6th place in the league, their highest league finish for many seasons. After the match a presentation was made to the St Ives physio, Jo Cox, as this was her last game looking after all things medical for the club.
With the season over, St Ives head into the close season, but this coming Saturday there is some rugby action at Alexandra Road, when a Stevens XV take on a select St Ives XV. Kick off in St Ives is scheduled for 3:00pm. Please come along and support this game, which is being played for charity.
St Ives: Tom Chandler, Ben Taylor (Captain), Ben Jenkins, Jamie Prisk, Harry Parton, Archie Mackay, Pete Mabbott, Martyn Lawrance, Dan Rutter, Grant Thirlby, Joe Rouncefield, Steve Kenward, Jordan Gott, Josh Palmer, Lewis Thomas.
Replacements: Joel Stevens, Joel Ninnes, John Trewhella (All used).