RUGBY: Super St Ives success as they triumph against table-toppers

Pete Fahey scored one of the St Ives tries in their victory at Olney. Picture: PAUL COX

Pete Fahey scored one of the St Ives tries in their victory at Olney. Picture: PAUL COX - Credit: Archant

St Ives produced one of their best-ever performances last Saturday.

That was the high praise given to a 20-12 victory at table-topping Olney in a crunch Midlands Division Two East (South) clash by Bulls skipper Ollie Bartlett.

The fine away success kept St Ives’ hopes of earning a second successive promotion alive as they enjoy a terrific debut season at this level. They sit third in the standings, only four points behind second-placed Market Harborough.

“That has to be right up there with the best performances from this St Ives team,” said Bartlett.

“Olney are top of the table for a reason so we are absolutely delighted with the way things went and to beat them at their place.

“This really sets the bar for us for the remainder of the season.”

The Bulls arrived in Buckinghamshire intent on claiming revenge after being pipped by Olney in the reverse fixture at Somersham Road earlier in the campaign.

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But they were on the back-foot early on as their hosts applied pressure which was rewarded with the opening try, but a relatively simple conversion was missed in windy conditions.

St Ives briefly levelled when Pete Fahey touched down following a series of scrums, but Olney responded almost immediately with a converted try to open up a 12-5 advantage at the break.

The Bulls again found themselves under the cosh in the early part of the second half, but they survived that difficult spell before producing a fine turnaround in the closing quarter of the contest.

They seized possession in midfield before whipping the ball wide for Warwick Brittany to score in the corner and close the gap to two points.

That soon became a five-point cushion in their favour following a try for player-coach John Naylor which was successfully converted by Paul Ashbridge, and his trusty boot then sealed St Ives’ success with a late penalty.

The Bulls go to relegation battlers Vipers this Saturday.

* St Ives 2nds went top of Greene King Division Two West in the Eastern Counties League last Saturday.

They dished out an 88-0 drubbing to Wisbech 2nds which featured tries from Fin Ruddock (2), Jim Robinson (2), Calum Long (2), Greg Dale, Tom Riches, Mitch Newman, Joe Cox, Graeme Stubbington, Jordan Edwards, Alex Fry and Jack Webb.