Lydney 30 v 34 St Ives
The Hakes left St Ives just after dawn to make one of the longest trips of this new campaign. Six hours on a coach with a young squad, without Rob Elloway and Chris Fuca due to family commitments and Ben Watson and Kye Beasley due to work commitments.
On Friday morning young back row Aden Brassington pulled out due to an ongoing injury. Connor Bick moved from front row to the back row and the experienced Sam Bartle filled in at hooker.
St Ives won the toss and opted to play with the elements and started the match in a confident mood following their recent performance against the Cornish All Blacks last Saturday.
Within 3 mins St Ives were awarded a penalty and new signing Dan Magee stepped up from full back to slot his first kick of the afternoon; 0:3 to the Hakes.
Straight from the kick off St Ives gathered the ball and made in-roads into the Lydney defence. Great continuity and ball control saw the Hakes arrive back in the opposition 22. Great handling and passing saw the opportunity for hooker Sam Bartle to dive over the line and finish off an excellent phase of play. Magee added the conversion, 0:10 to the Hakes 12 minutes in.
A great catch from the kick off saw Jamie Hoskin land and then take off into the heart of the opposition. No one looked to stop the forward momentum and St Ives were on the front foot yet again. What a start for the St Ives. During the attack Connor Bick made a tackle and was then in a collision with a team mate and was taken from the field by the medical team due to a shoulder injury.
Bick was replaced by the rejuvenated Ben Jenkins, who took up the role of second row with Hoskin switching to his favoured position in the back row.
Twenty minutes in and the Hakes seemed to have good control of the ball and were managing the game well with Rhys Brownfield and Dan Magee kicking the ball around the park deftly.
Captain and outside centre Tom Nicholas scored the next points with a storming try from just inside the opposition half. The conversion was added by Magee 0:17 to the Hakes.
Lydney started to come back at the Hakes and made good inroads into the St Ives half. The massive Gloucestershire pack continued to take the line out option. Several line outs later and many defensive tackles by Ben Taylor, Leigh Hocking and Martyn Lawrance saw the St Ives line stay intact. In the 34th minute Lydney moved the ball away from the St Ives forwards’ defence and chipped the ball over to the blindside wing who caught the ball and dived over the line for the try. No conversion 5:17 to the Hakes.
Two minutes later Lydney broke through the St Ives defence and were held up just short of the line. The robust scrum half for the home side picked up from the ruck, dummied the defence’s back line and touched down for their second try which was converted by the fly half 12:17.
St Ives Dan Magee added a penalty just before half time when Sean Stevens was taken from the field with an injury due to a high tackle with the offender lucky to remain on the pitch.
Stevens was replaced by James (Tug) Wilson and Pete Mabbott moved to the blindside flank.
Half time gave the Hakes a chance to gather their thoughts and plan the next phase of the match, up the slight slope and against the elements.
Four minutes in to the second half St Ives Dan Magee opted to kick a penalty, but it fell short allowing the home side to attack from their own line. After 6 mins Lydney kicked a penalty to narrow the gap; 15:20 to St Ives.
In the 50th minute Lydney shocked the Hakes by going over the try line for another score, but missed the conversion, to level the scores at 20 points each.
Only 2 minutes later Magee missed a penalty chance. In the 63rd minute Lydney punished the Hakes with a successful penalty of their own taking the lead for the first time in the match at 23:20.
St Ives responded well and stepped up the intensity. Their great work in defence became their champion.
Seventy minutes in and Tug Wilson finished off a fantastic team effort to score out wide on the right with Dan Magee adding the extras, 23:27 to the Hakes.
St Ives received the ball from the kick off and went straight back at the home defence. Captain Tom Nicholas took on the defence on the outside and passed the defenders with ease, he dived over to score the bonus point try and once again Magee converted from out wide on the left, 23:34 to the Hakes.
The last 5 minutes was all about St Ives defence and game management, but Lydney had other ideas. They increased the intensity and became a very difficult beast to tame.
St Ives allowed them to breach their defence and Lydney scored a try under the posts through their very elusive winger 30:34 to the Hakes.
The last minute of play saw St Ives defend until they gave away a penalty and the home side kicked to the corner. Three minutes later and several attempts by the home side to go over the white wash the referee agreed that the ball had been held up and the final whistle came and the travelling Hakes celebrated a very good win.
This was a fantastic performance from St Ives that will be remembered for many years to come. A first away win this new season and a valuable developmental stage for the squad.
The Hakes now look forward to a break from playing this coming Saturday with no fixture, but they are back in action on Saturday 20th October at Alexandra Road when they welcome another Gloucestershire side Newent. Kick-off is scheduled for 3:00pm; any home support would be very welcome.
St Ives: Ben Taylor, Sam Bartle, Leigh Hocking, Jamie Prisk, Jamie Hoskin, Connor Bick, Sean Stevens, Martyn Lawrance, Liam Jolly, Rhys Brownfield, Jack Kessell, Tom Nicholas, Peter Mabbott, Joe Parma, Dan Magee.
Replacements: Ben Jenkins, James (Tug) Wilson (Both used).