RUGBY: Table-topping St Ives boost their bid to be title kings by seeing off Queens
PUBLISHED: 11:03 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:41 07 November 2017
Captain Ollie Bartlett was quick to admit that St Ives’ latest success was nowhere near as comfortable as the scoreline might indicate.
The Bulls stretched their wonderful winning start to the season to nine matches in all competitions when beating Bedford outfit Queens 45-12 in Midlands Division Three East (South) last Saturday.
They now sit three points clear at the summit following the victory at Somersham Road and have also progressed into the quarter-finals of the Midlands Senior Vase in what is shaping up to be a memorable campaign.
“It was a much harder contest than the result suggests,” said Bartlett. “Queens were tough opponents.
“We did very well to stick to our plans. We scored plenty of tries and restricted them to just two.”
St Ives hit the front courtesy of a penalty try awarded after Albiee Tayedzerwa was illegally impeded as he darted towards the line.
Tommy Newman soon touched down for another score which was converted by the boot of Paul Ashbridge and the Bulls appeared to be on their way to a smooth victory.
Queens responded by laying siege to the St Ives line and the hosts were fortunate not to concede at least one try during the period of pressure.
But the Bulls stood firm and took command again with a quickfire try double.
Duncan Williams scored under the posts to cap a sweeping move before Paul Ashbridge was the beneficiary of a fine Ollie Raine run. Ashbridge also did the honours with the conversions on both occasions.
That left St Ives in possession of a 28-point advantage at the break, but Queens did cut it when registering their first point with a try early in the second half.
But it was soon the Bulls back on the front foot and adding to their latest hefty haul. Mickey Drake sprinted in under the posts before Tayedzerwa raced into the corner after an excellent break from player-coach John Naylor. The first of those tries was accompanied by an Ashbridge conversion.
The St Ives line was breached for a second time before they were awarded a final try in the dying moments.
They will attempt to extend their winning streak into double-figures when they go to struggling Rushden & Higham in a league clash this Saturday.