RUGBY: Success at last for St Ives in survival battle
- Credit: Archant
St Ives ignited their Midlands Division Two East (South) survival mission with a first success of the season.
The Bulls endured a tough start to the campaign with seven consecutive defeats, but they finally got to sample the winning feeling when seeing off Northampton Casuals last Saturday.
And the long-awaited victory was an emphatic one as St Ives eased to a 37-7 verdict with a pleasing performance at Somersham Road.
They didn't have to wait long for the first try as smart handling from Duncan Williams and stand-in captain Tommy Newman opened the door for Warwick Brittany to go over with Paul Ashbridge adding the conversion.
St Ives then found themselves under siege with only some stout defending keeping out the Casuals pack, but they freed themselves from the shackles to extend their advantage before the break.
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An Ashbridge penalty was followed by another converted try as Albiee Tayedzerwa sprinted onto a John Naylor kick to touch down with Casuals left trailing in his wake.
But the Bulls' 17-0 cushion was cut during a disastrous start to the second half as Casuals claimed their only points with a converted try straight from kick-off.
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That proved to be only a temporary blip for St Ives once back up to a full compliment of players having had Ashbridge yellow-carded late in the opening half.
He sent over two more penalties before maintaining his 100 per-cent conversion rate following a Chris Williams try.
And the Bulls secured the bonus point when Alex Henly provided their fourth try after more fine handling with Ashbridge predictably adding the extras.
Director of Rugby, Phil Brown, said: "Despite the difficult results, the numbers, energy, attitude and enjoyment at training have all remained high.
"We felt it was only a matter of time before the result came and it was great to see the guys enjoying playing as they have trained for long periods of the game.
"My personal overwhelming feeling was happiness for the players who have worked hard all season and deserved better.
"The win and performance will give them all confidence for the upcoming fixtures."
The Bulls remain bottom of the Midlands Division Two East (South) standings but have moved level with fellow strugglers Stewarts & Lloyds.
And St Ives now host the Corby side in a crucial basement clash this Saturday at Somersham Road.
Huntingdon and St Neots return to action in Midlands Division Three East (South) after being without fixtures last weekend.
Mid-table Huntingdon head to Oakham while rock-bottom St Neots host Bourne as they search for a first win of the season.