Hammond is happy despite narrow defeat

Midlands 5 East (South) Biggleswade 18 St Ives Bulls 10 ST IVES captain Pete Hammond was far from disappointed with his under-strength side s performance after this narrow defeat. We outplayed them for most of the game, apart from one or two missed tackl

Midlands 5 East (South)

Biggleswade 18 St Ives Bulls 10

ST IVES captain Pete Hammond was far from disappointed with his under-strength side's performance after this narrow defeat.

"We outplayed them for most of the game, apart from one or two missed tackles and a little bit of uncertainty at times in the defence we looked a good side," he said.


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In reality, this was to be one of St Ives' best performances of the season, with only a bad patch either side of half-time costing them a much needed win.

Bulls received the kick-off and were immediately put under pressure by an aggressive Biggleswade pack. St Ives spent much of the opening phase in their own half, but where in previous games the defence had struggled to hold the line, the only points conceded came from a very dubious penalty.

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Bulls struck back almost straight away, launching a series of rucks and mauls and progressing steadily up the pitch. Scrum-half Nigel Sweeny spotted Hammond on the charge and fed him a short pass. Hammond then off-loaded to James Cannon, who in turn released Steve Burke on a storming run. Tackled short, Burke fed Jack Collins, who went over in the corner for the try.

Unfortunately, just before the break, the St Ives defence went missing and Biggleswade created a three-man overlap to score in the corner.

Bad luck - and poor tackling - then dogged Ives again and let Biggleswade in for two more tries and an 18-5 lead.

These scores were totally against the flow of the game. Aided by the most comprehensive scrummaging display of the season - with a formidable powerhouse tight five pushing the Biggleswade pack all over the pitch - and despite lacking a full lineout, the St Ives forwards had the measure of the home side, freeing their backs up with decent possession and attacking options.

The back row of Bryan Richardson, Collins and Burke supported the strong running of Cannon and Jack Blackley, and were popping up in defence with some eye wincingly hard hits from Richardson.

This play was eventually rewarded when Sweeny crossed for a well-deserved try.

* Bulls U17s amassed 45 points when they defeated Wellingborough OGs, who managed just 10 points in reply. James Wood and Andrew Howard help themselves to a brace of tries each while Matt Nice, Steve Hehir and Dan Hyde also scored.

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