RUGBY: St Ives make sure they are not bitten by the Vipers to continue stunning streak

PUBLISHED: 22:01 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 22:01 27 November 2017

Paul Ashbridge starred as St Ives triumphed at Leicester Vipers. Picture: PAUL COX

Paul Ashbridge starred as St Ives triumphed at Leicester Vipers. Picture: PAUL COX

Paul Cox

Head coach Phil Brown toasted the most satisfying success yet for super St Ives.

The table-topping Bulls triumphed 29-3 at third-placed Leicester side Vipers last Saturday despite spending much of the big Midlands Division Three East (South) game under siege from their hosts.

It was a victory which stretched their winning streak in all competitions this season to 12 games and maintained a three-point cushion at the league summit.

Brown said: “The lads all knew the importance of getting a result. To achieve it with such a fine performance – taking their chances and not conceding a try – is very pleasing.”

Player-coach John Naylor provided the breakthrough before Paul Ashbridge produced a classy individual try as a smart start reaped rewards for St Ives.

The hosts responded by piling on the pressure as they attempted to cut their arrears and were eventually rewarded with a penalty.

But that proved to be their only source of points as they were met by some terrific defensive work from the Bulls, who managed to break out to extend their advantage when Mickey Drake combined with Ashbridge before touching down for a third try.

St Ives’ defence continued to stand strong under repeated attack in a second period in which Ashbridge provided all the remaining points.

He guided over a penalty before securing a bonus point when following up his second try with a third successful conversion.

Captain Ollie Bartlett said: “To play like we did and take all five available league points from Vipers was beyond our expectations.”

St Ives host mid-table Stockwood Park at Somersham Road this Saturday, 2.15pm.

Another local team continued their perfect league start without even having to take to the field last Saturday.

Table-topping St Neots received a Midlands Division Four East (South) walkover when opponents Bedford Swifts failed to raise a side for the clash at The Common.

St Neots go to Lincolnshire side Bourne this Saturday.

Huntingdon crashed to their heaviest defeat of the season. Damien Whales’ side drew a blank when being thumped 57-0 at Old Northamptonians in Midlands Division One East.

They will look for a response when they entertain Oundle at The Racecourse this Saturday, 2.15pm.


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