St Ives 41 v 14 Cullompton
Last Saturday at Alexandra Road St Ives welcomed Devon side Cullompton in their opening fixture in the South West One West league following their promotion last season. Coach Rob Elloway named a familiar looking side along with two new signings in James Wilson and Jack Kessell.
Started the match positively and St Ives soon found a rhythm that the visitors found difficult to break down. The first opportunity for points came in only the 2nd minute of the match, but the chance for three points from the penalty was missed. St Ives did open the scoring in the 15th minute when number 8 Martyn Lawrance crossed for a try, which came from the back of a strong looking Hakes scrum. Rhys Brownfield converted to give St Ives a deserved 7 points to nil lead.
Lawrance grabbed his second try of the match when he again scored from the back of a scrum, this time out wide on the right. Extras were not added, but St Ives now led by 12 points to nil.
As the half wore on St Ives got more into their stride and Cullompton had no answer for it at this stage of the match. Each time the visitors looked to build an attack the well-disciplined St Ives defence kept them at bay with some strong well-structured work.
In the 21st minute Brownfield slotted a penalty chance to extend the St Ives lead to 15 points with no reply. Jack Kessell, showing obvious signs of his talent, took a knock to the thigh early on following an elusive twisting move and a kick ahead. He was replaced by newcomer from Helston and Culdrose, James ‘Tug’ Wilson.
The St Ives pressure continued with some impressive rugby and they kept the visitors pinned back in their own half for long periods. In the 35th minute St Ives second row Jamie Prisk got himself on the score sheet after being released by scrum half Liam Jolly, who had a fine game. Again the conversion was missed, but the Hakes now held a tight grip on the match at 20 points to nil.
The score remained unchanged at the half time whistle, but when the second half began St Ives went straight on the attack and it was Jamie Prisk once again who found a gap in the visitors defence to power his way over from outside the Cullompton 22 to score his second try of the match. His outrageous dummy found the defender wanting and Prisk reminding supporters of his days as a fly half! Brownfield converted to put the Hakes ahead by 27 points without reply.
Cullompton finally got a foothold in the game and after a period where they were camped inside the St Ives 5 metre line. The try came Adam Jarrett and the conversion was added by Lewys Ryan to make the score St Ives 27, Cullompton 7 with 51 minutes gone.
St Ives were determined not to let Cullompton back in to the match and only 5 minutes later grabbed their 5th try of the match through winger Joe Parma. This was a fine example of running rugby from deep in their half. Captain Tom Nicholas made the initial break and winger Mabbott took the ball further. A quick ruck saw the ball move sweetly until the Cullompton defence ran dry. Again Brownfield slotted the conversion to put the Hakes beyond reach at 34 points to 7.
The Hakes continued to look dangerous every time they attacked the Cullompton try line. The power of their pack was demonstrated to good effect when in the 62nd minute Ben Taylor went over from the back of a driving maul to score St Ives final try of the afternoon. Brownfield once again kicked the conversion to make the score 41 points to 7.
In the 67th minute Cullompton scored another converted try from close range. In the last minutes, St Ives having secured a bonus point, the visitors continued to run the ball at every opportunity. The Hakes will not always find it possible to take it so easy. However, the home side proved worthy of their promotion. All bar one of these played regularly last season and the camaraderie showed. Spectators were well nourished from the entertainment set before them. Well done to both sides.
With no further score from either side the referee blew his whistle to end the game and mark the Hakes return to South West One league rugby with an impressive bonus point win. The final score was St Ives 41, Cullompton 14.
St Ives are back in action this coming Saturday with their first away game of the new season at Devonport Services. Kick off in Devon is scheduled for 3:00pm; any travelling support would be very welcome.
St Ives : Ben Taylor, Rob Elloway, Ben Jenkins, Jamie Prisk, Jamie Hoskin, Chris Quick, Sean Stevens, Martyn Lawrance, Liam Jolly, Grant Thirlby, Pete Mabbott, Rhys Brownfield, Tom Nicholas (Capt.), Joe Parma, Jack Kessell.
Replacements: Kye Beasley, James Wilson, Leigh Hocking (All Used).