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St Ives’ Close Encounter at Newent

Newent 14 v 12 St Ives

Last Saturday St Ives travelled to Gloucestershire side Newent in what is their longest away trip of the season. It is the first time the Hakes had made the long trip to Newent and coach, Chris Fuca, named a strong side to travel with himself named among the replacements.

St Ives got off to a dream start as they powered their way through the centre of the field in the first two minutes with their heavier pack punching holes in the Newent defence. A ruck in the home sides 22 gave scrum half Sam Carter all the opportunity he needed to skip through the defence to score the opening try of the match. Dan Magee slotted the conversion to put the Hakes 7 points to nil.

The home side came straight back at St Ives and attacked the St Ives defence with a high energy, fast running style. The Hakes’ well drilled defence stood up to the Newent assaults much to the frustration of the home crowd until the 32nd minute, when they finally broke through to score courtesy of George Phelps. The try was converted by Joe Goatley to level the scores.

The scores remained unchanged at the half time whistle leaving it all to play for in the second half.

The first real action of the second period came when St Ives were awarded a penalty kick for a high tackle. The kick taken by Magee fell short, but was fumbled by the Newent defence. Tom Nicholas followed up the kick and gathered the ball. He touched it down for the Hakes’ second try of the match. The conversion was missed giving St Ives a 12 points to 7 lead, but the kicking error would come back to haunt the St Ives players later in the game.

St Ives coach, Chris Fuca, shuffled his pack in the 60th minute and introduced himself into the St Ives back row. The changes certainly shook the game up and St Ives began to match the energy of the Newent side. This caused the game to become short tempered and several fracases occurred, before the referee got a grip of the game, when he showed a yellow card to both sides and a red card to Newent for incidents at a breakdown.

The next 15 minutes saw St Ives pile the pressure on the home defence. Twice they crossed the whitewash, but saw their efforts ruled out first for a held up decision and second for a knock on. Eventually the home side relieved the pressure on their line and broke out to put pressure on the St Ives’ defence. In the 73rd minute they got the all-important break through Nathan Brooks. Goatley converted to claim a 2 point lead for the home side with 5 minutes to play.

Despite their best efforts the St Ives players could not add to their score and the referee brought the game to a close with the score set at Newent 14, St Ives 12.

This result sees the Hakes slip to 5th in the South West One West league table. St Ives are back in league action this coming Saturday with a fixture at home to North Petherton. Kick off at Alexandra Road is scheduled for 2:30pm. There is a sponsors buffet before the game and following the match a hog roast is being laid on at the club to celebrate Captain Tom Nicholas’ 10 years at the club.

St Ives: Ben Jenkins, Sam Vernon, Leigh Hocking, Jamie Prisk, Ben Watson, Joji Volaisaya, Chris Quick, Martyn Lawrance, Sam Carter, Grant Thirlby, Peter Mabbott, Joe Parma, Tom Nicholas (Captain), Liam Jolly, Dan Magee.

Repacements: Chris Fuca, Aden Brassington, Adam Hosking (All Used).

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