St Ives Clinch League Title at Chard
Chard 10 v 19 St Ives
Last weekend the St Ives 1st XV took the long trip to Somerset side Chard for their latest Western Counties West League game. The Hakes travelled knowing that the 7 points needed to confirm them as league champions were out of reach unless other results went their way.
The game began with Chard having all the early territory and they kept St Ives pinned back in their own half for long periods. Their pressure was rewarded with a try in the 13th minute, through Dave Biss, which went unconverted.
St Ives began to get more of the ball and soon started to take control of the territorial game themselves. The points just wouldn’t come though. Whether it was handling errors or the determined defensive display from the home side, the Hakes just couldn’t break through for a score.
Eventually, in the last play of the half, St Ives got the breakthrough that they deserved when second row Jamie Prisk went over for a try that was converted by Rhys Brownfield to give St Ives the lead at the break by 7 points to 5.
The second half began with the Hakes beginning to take control in all areas of the pitch. The half was only four minutes old when Jamie Prisk grabbed his second try of the match. He finished off a break from Liam Jolly to double the St Ives points tally. The successful Brownfield conversion took the score to Chard 5 St Ives 14.
In the 58th minute, with the St Ives forwards in full flow, a maul was formed that powered over the line allowing Rob Elloway to score the try. No conversion this time, but the St Ives lead was beginning to look insurmountable at 5 points to 19.
To their credit Chard did not give up and put a lot of effort into some good defensive work. They also put together some creativity in attacks of their own. One such attack was successful when Dave Biss again went over for a try for the home side. The conversion was missed to set what was to be the final score of Chard 10, St Ives 19.
The remainder of the game was played out in worsening conditions caused by the rain which had fallen during the second half. In the final play of the match as St Ives pushed for the fourth and bonus point scoring try. They forced their way over the Chard line only for the ball to be held up by some more resolute defence. With St Ives expecting an attacking 5 metre scrum and a chance to secure the bonus point, the referee decided to blow the final whistle to end the match in a rather unusual way.
With St Ives taking a 4 point victory all eyes turned to what was happening at Falmouth where St Austell were in action against the Cornish side. Word came through that the match had finished at 12 points each. Also it filtered through that 3rd placed Devonport Services had lost at home to Sidmouth. All these factors now mean that St Ives hold an unassailable lead in the table making them league Champions elect.
This creates a little slice of history for the club as this is the first time since the leagues were formed in 1987 that St Ives has gained promotion by way of winning the league.
St Ives are back in action this coming Saturday (Easter Saturday) with their cup semi-final game being played at St Austell. KO in St Austell is scheduled for 2:30pm; any travelling support would be very welcome.
St Ives : Ben Taylor, Rob Elloway, Leigh Hocking, Jamie Prisk, Harry Parton, Cameron Bone, Sean Stevens, Martyn Lawrance, Liam Jolly, Grant Thirlby, Pete Mabbott, Rhys Brownfield, Tom Nicholas, Lewis Thomas, Joe Parma.
Replacements : Matt Nicholl, Ben Jenkins, Paul Thirlby (All Used).