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Hakes Top of the Pile for Christmas

Wadebridge Camels 15 v 24 St Ives

St Ives travelled to North Cornwall last Saturday to face Wadebridge in their last Western Counties West league game before the Christmas break. Joint head coaches Paul Thirlby and Rob Elloway made several changes for the match including the return of Tom Chandler at prop. Ben Taylor moved to hooker to replace the injured Rob Elloway. Matt Nichol came in to the second row with Harry Parton moving out to the centre in place of the still injured Tom Nicholas. Grant Thirlby, who scored a brace last week, was unavailable. Sam Carter and Joel Stevens covered the bench.

The game began evenly as both sides probed for an opening. Wadebridge looked dangerous on the counter attack, but it was St Ives who scored the first points of the match. In the 14th minute prop Tom Chandler popped up to score the first try of the match. Rhys Brownfield added the conversion to give the Hakes a lead of 7 points to nil.

That was Brownfield’s last contribution to the match. Only 4 minutes later he was forced to leave the field following a nasty collision with a Wadebridge player. This is another blow to St Ives growing injury list in the centre and also individually to Rhys as he is one of only two players to have played in every game so far. Hopefully the Christmas and New Year break will see Rhys and Tom Nicholas back in action. With the side reshuffled to cover for the injured Brownfield, St Ives continued to keep up the pressure on the home side and this was rewarded again in the 25th minute. Following a penalty which was despatched to the corner, Liam Jolly stormed into the corner following the line out to score St Ives’ second try. What an asset the young scrum half is turning out to be. This was his fifth try in 11 appearances. Paul Thirlby took over the kicking duties and kicked the conversion to put the Hakes 14 points to nil up.

The home side got their first points of the afternoon through the boot of Danny Thomas when he successfully converted a penalty; a St Ives player was penalised for not releasing. The score after 37 minutes: Wadebridge 3, St Ives 14. In the last act of the first half Paul Thirlby replied with a penalty kick of his own when a Wadebridge player was penalised for holding on to the ball. The half time score: Wadebridge 3, St Ives 17. The coach, now with extra responsibility would surely be very pleased with the performance thus far. The away side had again laid the foundation for a victory. Incidentally, this was Paul’s 13th appearance this season. Last year he played in only nine for the entire season.

Wadebridge started the second half in determined fashion and began to push St Ives back into their half on regularly. The St Ives defence has proved to be resilient in recent games and once again they showed good discipline and kept the home side at bay for long periods. The home side did grab their second try of the match when Adam Collings crossed for an unconverted try in the 51st minute to make the score 8 - 17.

St Ives were in no mood to let things slip and from an attacking scrum in the 65th minute number 8 Martyn Lawrance stormed over the line from the back of the scrum to score St Ives’ 3rd try. This also draws Martyn level with Peter Mabbott on nine tries as top scorer. Both have made 12 appearances. Thirlby kicked the conversion to put the Hakes in a commanding position with a lead of 24 points to 8.

Wadebridge finished the game strongly and pinned St Ives back in their half. Despite the Wadebridge pressure St Ives soaked it up with some good defensive work. The home side did make a breakthrough in the 73rd minute when Rich Treleaven crossed for a try at the back of a maul; Thomas added the conversion to close the gap to St Ives with the score 15 - 24.

Two minutes later the home side were reduced to 14 men when Jack Scott was shown a red card by the referee for throwing a punch. The game ended a few minutes later with no further score to see St Ives take the victory.

This win sees St Ives maintain their position at the top of the Western Counties West league by four points from fellow Cornish side St Austell. The Hakes head into the Christmas break now with no further league games until January 6th when they welcome, St Austell, to Alexandra Road. With the exchange of position between them and Devonport Services, this is again a top of the table clash between first and second. St Ives was thoroughly and comprehensively beaten at St Austell, when they just failed to put together any aspect of their play. KO is scheduled for 2:30pm. and this is a match not to be missed.

The table shows it to be a three horse race currently, with Kingsbridge being at least three wins extra from St Austell.

All being well St Ives will be back in action in the traditional Boxing day game against Hayle, which is planned to be held this year at the Memorial Park in Hayle. KO is scheduled for 2:30pm; any support would be very welcome.

St Ives: Tom Chandler, Ben Taylor, Leigh Hocking, Jamie Prisk, Matt Nichol, Jamie Hoskin, Chris Quick, Martyn Lawrance, Liam Jolly, Paul Thirlby, Peter Mabbott, Harry Parton, Rhys Brownfield, Josh Palmer, Jacob Ninnes.

Replacements: Joel Stevens, Sam Carter (all used).

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