Devonport Services 26 v 22 St Ives
St Ives travelled to Devon last Saturday to face Devonport Services who gained promotion to South West One with the Hakes last season. They had beaten Western Counties North runners up, Chew Valley (A) 12:22 in the play off for a place in SW1W.
Rob Elloway named a side with two new signings on the bench in Sam Bartle and Ben Watson. Kye Beasley started in the front row and following his debut from the bench last weekend, James Wilson started on the wing. Elloway and Joe Parma were not part of the squad. All other selections were as last week.
St Ives got off to a good start when after only two minutes play full back Jack Kessell crossed for the opening try of the match. Rhys Brownfield added the conversion to give the Hakes the early advantage.
Only 5 minutes later Services hit back with a score of their own, but with no conversion to make the score 5 - 7. St Ives continued to show promise and their efforts were rewarded when on 13 minutes hooker Ben Taylor forced his way over the line to score St Ives’ second try. No conversion this time, but the Hakes lead by 12 points to 5.
Devonport’s fly half Matt Anstis kicked the hosts back to within a score of the Hakes in the 18th minute with a converted penalty chance to make the score 8 - 12. The score remained unchanged until the half time whistle.
It was Anstis again who opened the scoring in the second half with another penalty kick to draw the Services to within a point in the 45th minute. It wasn’t long before the hosts extended their lead when their number 8 crossed for their second try of the match. The conversion from accurate Anstis gave Devonport the lead by 18 points to 12.
St Ives responded well to going behind and some good work from their pack managed to find some space for winger Pete Mabbott to cross out wide for a try. The missed conversion left the Hakes trailing by a point at 18-17 with all to play for with 55 minutes gone.
Anstis, always a thorn in the side of The Hakes, with a consummate display of kicking from dead ball and ball in hand, increased the hosts lead with a drop goal only a couple of minutes later 21-17.
The hosts sealed the win in the 68th minute when their flanker crossed for an unconverted try to make the score 26-17.
It was St Ives who had the last word in the match when Sam Bartle scored a try that went unconverted to give the Hakes two losing bonus points in the 78th minute, before the referee brought the game to an end with the final whistle.
The Hakes are back in action this coming Saturday with a game at home to Coney Hill. The Gloucestershire side were champions of the Western Counties North league last season, but have suffered two heavy defeats at the start of this one. The Hakes will hope to continue their home form. Kick off at Alexandra Road is scheduled for 3:00pm.
St Ives : Kye Beasley, Ben Taylor, Ben Jenkins, Jamie Prisk, Jamie Hoskin, Chris Quick, Sean Stevens, Martyn Lawrance, Liam Jolly, Grant Thirlby, Peter Mabbott, Rhys Brownfield, Tom Nicholas (Captain), James Wilson, Jack Kessell.
Replacements: Leigh Hocking, Sam Bartle, Ben Watson (All Used).