Kingsbridge 11 v 14 St Ives
For their latest Western Counties West League game the St Ives 1st team squad travelled to the South Hams in Devon to face the only unbeaten side in the league Kingsbridge.
Joint Head Coaches Paul Thirlby and Rob Elloway named a strong squad, but made a few changes from the side that won away at Paignton last time out. With Harry Parton, Sean Stevens, John Lamsin and Ben Jenkins unavailable for this match Leigh Hocking came back into the front row with Tom Chandler on the flank. Rhys Brownfield moved to full back with the return of Paul Thirlby from injury at fly half. Jamie Hoskin came into the second row, with Joel Stevens covering the front row on the bench.
The weather for the match was blustery and damp and that was reflected in the early exchanges as both sides probed each other’s defence. Kingsbridge had the better start, but resolute St Ives defence kept them from crossing for a try early on.
The home side were reduced to penalty chances as the St Ives defence stayed strong. Thom Leaman slotted a penalty in the 3rd minute when the Hakes defence was penalised, but Rhys Brownfield levelled the score in the 12th minute with a penalty for St Ives.
The contest continued to be a battle upfront with the home side using their physicality to good effect. The St Ives players matched them and showed good resilience, turning the ball over on several occasions, with good work at the breakdown.
In the 28th minute Leaman kicked the home side another 3 points from a penalty and, two minutes later, a clever kick wide saw Luke Davies gather and cross in the corner for an unconverted try to set the half time score at Kingsbridge 11, St Ives 3.
St Ives turned around for the second half with the blustery wind at their backs and looked to pin the home side back with their kicking game. This did not really materialise, but despite this it was St Ives who looked the more likely to add to their score. Brownfield missed a penalty chance in the 42nd minute, but made amends in the 60th and 70th minute respectively to reduce the home sides lead to 2 points at 11 points to 9.
An exciting finale was set up as the Hakes pushed forward looking for the points that would seal victory. Their efforts were rewarded when in the 75th minute they were given a penalty, but the chance was missed which made it look as though St Ives would have to settle for a losing bonus point.
From a scrum, just inside the Kingsbridge half in the 78th minute, St Ives number 8 Martyn Lawrance made a break down the left. Flanker Cameron Bone followed in support and when Lawrance offloaded the ball he raced into the corner to score an excellent try. The conversion was missed, but St Ives had the lead for the first time in the match.
The late score gave the home side no time to react and the referee brought the game to a close a couple of minutes later to confirm the victory for St Ives by 14 points to 11.
This victory for St Ives sees them maintain 6th position in the league 6 points behind leaders Devonport Services, but with a game in hand. This coming Saturday St Ives welcome Sidmouth to Alexandra Road in the rearranged fixture from 3 weeks ago. Kick off in St Ives is scheduled for 3:00pm; any home support would be very welcome.
St Ives: Ben Taylor, Rob Elloway, Leigh Hocking, Jamie Prisk, Jamie Hoskin, Tom Chandler, Cameron Bone, Martyn Lawrance, Sam Carter, Paul Thirlby, Peter Mabbott, Steve Kenward (Captain), Tom Nicholas, Josh Palmer, Rhys Brownfield.
Replacements: Joel Stevens, Liam Jolly (Both Used)