RUGBY: It’s no party for Stags as the Bulls go on the charge to derby glory
- Credit: Archant
A big crowd witnessed a big win as the big two in Huntingdonshire rugby did battle last Saturday.
An eagerly-awaited derby clash between Huntingdon and St Ives attracted an estimated 400 people to The Racecourse.
They saw the visitors run riot as St Ives stormed to a 57-5 triumph to claim the local bragging rights and continue a fine start to their first-ever season of Midlands Division Two East (South) rugby.
The Bulls drew first blood when Paul Ashbridge guided over a penalty and it was soon followed by the opening try as skipper Ollie Bartlett touched down in the left corner after being the beneficiary of some slick handling.
Player-coach John Naylor soon added a second try which owed much to a scorching midfield break from Will nelson, but Huntingdon replied when Doug Bentley claimed their sole try after a powerful maul following a line out.
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But that merely served to spark St Ives into top gear as they produced a burst of four tries in the space of just 12 minutes.
Duncan Williams crashed over for the first of them before Mickey Drake darted in from 40 yards after a Huntingdon scrum had been turned over.
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Tommy Newman then completed a fine team move started by another turnover of possession just inside the Stags half and the devastating scoring spree was completed on the stroke of half-time when Albiee Tayedzerwa skipped down the touchline past a series of tackles and touched down under the posts.
Ashbridge converted five of his side’s six first-half tries to leave St Ives in command 43-5 at the interval – a position of strength they never looked like surrendered despite allowing their level of intensity to drop at times in the second period.
They were often under pressure as a result with some last-ditch defensive work from Jack Blackley and George Peacock denying the hosts before St Ives claimed two further tries of their own as Bartlett completed a hat-trick for the second successive Saturday.
He went over following a surge from the Bulls pack which stemmed from a penalty in front of the posts before completing his side’s haul in the dying seconds when galloping in from 60 yards after a Jonny Young interception and offload.
It was a second successive half-century for the high-scoring Bulls following an opening day rout of Coalville and suggests they will be doing far more than merely making up the numbers at this level.
On the other hand Huntingdon will need to quickly find their feet after consecutive defeats to launch the new campaign following relegation last term.
* St Neots suffered a second successive Midlands Division Three East (South) defeat last Saturday when going down 46-12 at Daventry.