RUGBY: St Ives warm up for crucial promotion clash by powering to their biggest win of the season
- Credit: Archant
St Ives chief Phil Brown is relishing a crucial clash in the club’s pursuit of a second successive promotion.
The Bulls climbed into second place in Midlands Division Two East (South) last Saturday thanks to their biggest win of the season as they beat Market Bosworth 68-7 at Somersham Road.
They will hope to continue that explosive form when travelling to promotion rivals Market Harborough – who sit one point and one place behind them – this Saturday.
Brown, whose side won the reverse fixture 26-22 back in October, said: “It is the stand-out game in this round of fixtures and it is one we are very much looking forward to.
“It was a very close game at our place earlier in the season when Harborough could easily have nicked the win at the death.
“They are unbeaten at home this season and we know it’s going to be very tough over there, but our guys are excited and confident in their ability to execute the plans.
“Games like this gets the pulses racing that little bit faster and we will give it our very best shot.”
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The Bulls will stand an excellent chance of success if in the same sort of form that led to them blowing away Market Bosworth last weekend.
Player-coach John Naylor touched down twice in a first half which also featured tries from Paul Ashbridge and Chris Williams as St Ives opened up a 28-7 advantage at the break.
And they followed up with 40 unanswered points in the second period as Ollie Raine went over before Duncan Williams helped himself to two tries.
The final three scores all arrived in the final 10 minutes after the visitors were reduced to 14 men by an injury.
Andrew Hutchinson marked his return from serious injury in try-scoring style before Raine and captain Ollie Bartlett completed a dominant display in which Ashbridge was successful with nine of his conversion attempts.
Huntingdon are still 11 points from safety after being beaten 48-24 at Belgrave.
Sam Hirons (2), Kris Jones and Chris Ruggings provided the tries for Stags, who host Bugbrooke this Saturday.
St Ives were delighted to be able to field three full teams for fixtures last Saturday.
While the first XV were making light work of Market Bosworth, the 2nds triumphed 36-12 at table-toppers Mildenhall Red Lodge in Division Two West of the Eastern Counties League and the 3rds were pipped 30-27 by Rushden 3rds in a friendly.