St Ives 44 v 30 Bridgwater & Albion
Last Saturday at Alexandra Road St Ives welcomed Somerset side Bridgwater & Albion in their latest South West One West league match.
Head Coach Rob Elloway named a strong side for the encounter, including himself at hooker. Jack Kessell came on to the wing and the Bick brothers Connor and Joel were named on the bench, the latter making his debut for the club on the wing in this match. He becomes player number twenty nine for this season. New signing, Joli Volaisaya, continued at wing forward.
With only two minutes gone Bridgwater took an early lead. After making a good start the visitors were awarded a penalty when the St Ives defence was penalised for not rolling away at a ruck. Stu Heal converted the kick for the visitors to give them 3 points to nil lead.
The Hakes came back strongly. After being awarded a penalty on 9 minutes play they despatched the ball to the corner. From the resulting lineout the St Ives pack demonstrated its power, driving the ball over the Bridgwater line allowing flanker Chris Quick to score his first try of the season. The try went un-converted to make the score St Ives 5 Bridgewater 3.
In the 12th minute Bridgwater managed to steal a ball against the head from a St Ives scrum and took full advantage when Ollie Dunn finished off with a try to put the visitors back in front by 8 points to 5, following the missed conversion chance.
Bridgwater had demonstrated their quality and willingness to run the ball in counter attacks, especially from any loose kicks. However, the St Ives forwards were creating pressure every time they set for mauls from line outs. They were given another opportunity in a carbon copy of their first try. This time, with Rob Elloway at the back of the rolling maul, the Hakes trundled over for a second try. This time Dan Magee converted from wide out to put St Ives ahead by 12 points to 8 with 16 minutes gone.
On 27 minutes Bridgwater pulled back another 3 points from the boot of Heal when he converted another penalty chance to make the score 12-11.
Bridgwater continued to struggle to defend the St Ives maul machine and in the 29th minute the Hakes pack again rumbled over the visitors line, this time with second row Jamie Prisk scoring the try, which Magee converted to make the score St Ives 19, Bridgwater 11.
Magee kicked a penalty in the 36th minute, (22:11). Then, in the last play of the first half, the full back latched onto a kick through from St Ives Captain Tom Nicholas inside the 22. This secured the bonus point, which Magee was unable to convert, to make the half time score St Ives 27, Bridgewater 11.
The second half began with St Ives on the attack and they soon found themselves in a position to exercise the power of their pack again with another driving maul giving Rob Elloway the chance to score his second try of the match. This is Rob’s fifth of this season, making him third top try scorer behind Lawrance (6) and Nicholas (7). The try went un-converted to make the score 32-11.
The visitors to their credit never gave up and were a constant threat throughout the match. In the 59th minute they scored when their number 8 Taylor Buller went over from the base of an attacking scrum. Heal converted to make the score 32-18.
The next St Ives try was scored when Jamie Prisk got his second by powering over the line from close in. Another difficult attempted conversion was missed, to make the score 37-18. after 63 minutes.
With the Hakes well on top they pushed forward again and it wasn’t long before they scored, this time through prop Ben Jenkins, happy to score his first since Exeter University in January last year. Rhys Brownfield kicked the conversion, Joel Bick having come on to replace Dan Magee, to make the score 44-18 with 73 minutes gone.
The last few minutes saw St Ives allow the visitors to build up a head of steam and create some opportunities of their own. The Hakes have been guilty of letting sides come back at them in other games this season and need to find a way to close down games more effectively. Bridgwater scored two tries in the last 7 minutes of the game the first through Niell Bezuidenhout with Heal converting and in the 78th minute through Gavin Knight (un-converted) to set the final score at St Ives 44, Bridgwater 30.
The Hakes move back in to third position in the league with this result with a game in hand over the teams around them due to the postponed game at Teignmouth last weekend. This game will now be played on the 22nd December. No early Christmas break for The Hakes!
St Ives are back in league action this coming Saturday when they travel to Weston-Super-Mare side Hornets. Kick-off is scheduled for 2:30pm in Weston, 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), Jack Kessell, Dan Magee.
Replacements: Leigh Hocking, Connor Bick, Joel Bick (All Used).