St Ives 34 v 18 Thornbury
Last Saturday St Ives welcomed Bristol side Thornbury to Alexandra Road in their latest South West One West league encounter. Head Coach Rob Elloway returned to the front row alongside Ben Taylor and Ben Jenkins with Jack Hodge having returned to Redruth after his loan spell ended. Joji Volaisaya made his debut in the back row with Leigh Hocking returning to the bench after recovering from injury.
A fresh breeze, which got steadily colder all afternoon was blowing across the pitch from the SE. This may be partly the reason behind more handling errors than usual. It certainly made a difference to Thornbury, whose backs were unable to convert pressure to points several times.
St Ives made the better start to the match and went on the attack straight from the first whistle. In only the 7th minute the forwards formed a rolling maul which rumbled its way over the Thornbury line allowing number 8 Martyn Lawrance to score the opening try of the match. The stiff cross field breeze made the conversion difficult so no extras but St Ives held an early 5 points to nil lead.
Straight from the restart St Ives powered forward looking for more points. As their forwards pounded the Thornbury defence the ball was eventually recycled wide where Dan Magee was waiting on the overlap to score the Hakes second try (and his first for the club) of the match on 12 minutes. No conversion again, but St Ives had doubled their lead to 10 points to nil.
The positive start to the match made by the St Ives players continued with their confidence beginning to show. The home side scored their third try of the match when Tom Nicholas found some space out wide on the left. Dan Magee continued to have difficulty with the elements and wide angle for the kick. It was 15:0 and this is a typical start by The Hakes. No one dared to think that it was enough.
Thornbury eventually got the long journey to west Cornwall out of their legs and began to make some inroads into the St Ives half at the beginning of the second quarter. A good move down the left saw the Thornbury players go over the St Ives line only to be pulled back for a forward pass. The referee was playing advantage though and pulled play back for the penalty which Jake Wood slotted between the posts to give the visitors their first points of the match at 15 points to 3 with 22 minutes gone.
Thornbury kept up the pressure on the St Ives players using their mobile back line. In the 36th minute they made a break down the right only to be halted by St Ives full back Magee. However, a clever off load gave Jake Wood the chance to finish in the corner which he did to score an unconverted try to make the score St Ives 15, Thornbury 8. Earlier a Magee penalty kick to the corner by the scoreboard went dead and this acted as a bit of a turning point for the visitors.
On the stroke of half time Wood added another penalty to set the score at the break St Ives 15, Thornbury 11. Half time approached and the lack of possession for St Ives was noticeable.
It wasn’t long after the restart that the Hakes claimed their 4th and bonus point try. This time it was Grant Thirlby who found some space in the 48th minute to move the Hakes more than a score ahead at 20 points to 11 following the missed conversion. The tide was turning.
With St Ives well in control of the game and Thornbury were pinned back in their own half for long period. It was only a matter of time before the Hakes broke through the visitors defence again. In the 64th minute wing Joe Parma cut an excellent line through the visitors defence to score a well-deserved try. Once again players and spectators were wondering exactly how Joe had slipped through the tackles. This time Magee added the extras to put the Hakes in command of the match at 27 points to 11.
The 6th St Ives try came in the 74th minute when replacement hooker Connor Bick claimed his first try for the club. Magee slotted the conversion again to put the Hakes out of sight at 34 points to 11.
To their credit the Thornbury players never gave up and in the 76th minute they scored a late consolation try through Alfie Richardson with Wood again slotting the conversion to set the final score at St Ives 34, Thornbury 18.
This result sees the Hakes climbs to third in the South West One West league table 7 points adrift of second placed Okehampton.
The top half of the league table shows how close it is, especially 3rd to 8th.
The Hakes will be looking to take their excellent home form on the road next week when they travel to Devon side Teignmouth for their next league game this coming Saturday. Kick off in Devon is scheduled for 2:30pm. Any travelling support would be very welcome.
St Ives : Ben Taylor, Rob Elloway, Ben Jenkins, Jamie Prisk, James Watson, Joji Volaisaya, Chris Quick, Martyn Lawrance, Liam Jolly, Rhys Brownfield, Peter Mabbott, Grant Thirlby, Tom Nicholas (Captain), Joe Parma, Dan Magee.
Replacements : Leigh Hocking, Aden Brassington, Connor Bick (All Used).