Hakes Top Table With Victory Over Chard
St Ives 43 v 5 Chard
Last Saturday at Alexandra Road St Ives welcomed Somerset side Chard for their latest Western Counties West league game.
Joint head coach Rob Elloway returned to the side for this match and, along with Paul Thirlby, they named a side including a new signing in the back row; Chris Quick. Leigh Hocking started at prop with Ben Jenkins moving to the second row. Sam Carter returned to scrum half with Rhys Brownfield at fly half. Matt Holland came into inside centre to complete a reshuffle for this match. Four different players and four positional changes; such is the need for a large squad. Chris Quick, who had an excellent match in the back row, became the 31st player to represent St Ives this season in just eleven games. Only three players have appeared in all matches; Ben Taylor, Rhys Brownfield and Tom Nicholas, the latter's full availability this season being a key feature to St Ives's success.
The game began with both sides probing each other’s defence, but it was St Ives who got the breakthrough with a try for Ben Taylor from the back of a St Ives maul. Rhys Brownfield kicked the conversion to give the Hakes a lead after 14 minutes.
St Ives doubled their lead when referee Al Denham awarded the home side a penalty try in the 26th minute following repeated offences at an attacking line out on the Chard 5 metre line; 14:0. Chard never really showed enough discipline around the ruck and were regularly 'pinged' for technical offences. This made the game somewhat disjointed at times.
With the Hakes beginning to look good value for their lead a mazy run from full back Jacob Ninnes lead to an attacking scrum from which number 8 Martyn Lawrance went over to score St Ives’ third try of the match, his 7th of the season. The conversion was missed this time, but the Hakes lead was now 19 points to nil.
The bonus point for scoring four tries was achieved on the half hour mark for St Ives when left wing Pete Mabbott burst through to score a try which Brownfield converted. This keeps the in form winger as top try with eight from his nine appearances.
The last play of the half saw full back Ninnes cut an excellent line through the Chard defence to score a well-deserved try, which Brownfield converted. The young full back showed terrific pace and growing confidence. He still seems a little reluctant to 'go on the outside', but surely this will come. The first half ended with the score St Ives 33, Chard nil.
With such a dominant display in the first half the home support might have expected St Ives to carry on piling on the points, but that did not happen. St Ives appeared to take their foot off the gas, allowing the Somerset side to get a foothold in the match and create some pressure of their own. This was rewarded in the 50th minute when Joe Mainwaring scored a well-deserved try for the visitors, following a number of phases close to the line.
It never really looked as though Chard would get back into the match, but continued to give a good account of themselves for the remainder of the match.
St Ives scored again. This time it was through second row Jamie Prisk in the 53rd minute. No conversion this time. Not until the 78th minute did the next score come, underlining the fact that Chard were making life difficult for the home side. Prop replacement Kye Beasley popped up wide on the right to score his first try for the club. Again the conversion was missed but the final score was set at St Ives 43, Chard 5, leaving the visitors a hefty deficit in points differencr in the league table.
This result sees St Ives move to the top of the Western Counties West Division following Devonport Services’ defeat at Sidmouth. Devonport visit St Ives in two weeks for a top of the table clash. St Ives are back in league action this coming Saturday with an away fixture in Devon at Crediton. KO in Crediton is scheduled for 2:30pm, any travelling support would be very welcome.
St Ives: Ben Taylor, Rob Elloway, Leigh Hocking, Jamie Prisk, Ben Jenkins, Harry Parton, Chris Quick, Martyn Lawrance, Sam Carter, Rhys Brownfield, Peter Mabbott, Matt Holland, Tom Nicholas, Josh Palmer, Jacob Ninnes.
Replacements: Paul Thirlby, Key Beasley, Matt Nichol (All Used)