Mini-Rugby St. Ives Ely U8 5, St Ives U8 25 SAINTS demonstrated real team spirit and exhilirating support play to take their opening victory over a feisty home side. Ross Meagher opened the scoring, having been put through on the half-way line by Peter Ford. James Digby made a strong solo run to double the lead shortly afterwards before further tries from Reuben Patrick and two from Jake Bowen sealed the win St Ives U8 35, Newmarket B U8 25 SAINTS ran out narrow winners in this closely fought game of attacking rugby. Newmarket were quicker out of the blocks, taking the lead after a strong run across the pitch to score in the corner. Saints responded immediately with a Jake Bowen try before Daniel Palmer profited from excellent build-up by Nathan Flack and Ross Meagher to touchdown. From the restart Newmarket responded with some very persistent play and scored twice in quick succession, but Saints pressed forward again and Palmer scored his second to take the sides in level at half time. The second half began as the first had finished, with both sides trading scores up to 25-25, Saints tries coming thanks to a cross-field sprint from Reuben Patrick and a long run to the corner by James Digby. Saints had the better of the last few minutes, Lewis Smith being hustled into touch just short of the line before Patrick found himself on the receiving end of another strong build-up and restored the lead for Saints. Newmarket again responded and were unfortunate to have a try disallowed, but from the turnover Digby and Patrick combined to take the ball forward again, and Smith sealed the win with the final try. St Ives U8 20, Newmarket A U8 10 ANOTHER nip-and-tuck match saw St Ives pull away late-on when Saints' fresher legs proved to be the deciding factor. Jake Bowen opened the scoring after a strong run through the middle, but Newmarket responded quickly. Daniel Palmer restored Saints' lead, only for Newmarket to equalise again. Bowen scored his second, and George Smith scored a fourth, before newcomer Callum Bains was denied his first ever try for going to ground as he touched the ball down; so 20-10 the score remained. St Ives U9 30, Newmarket U9 10 IN their best performance of the season so far, St Ives beat a strong and well organised Newmarket side thanks to four tries from Sam Hirons and two from Tyler Elstub. The front row provided good quality scrummage, maul and lineout ball, while the backs were direct in attack and the whole team tackled like demons to create the platform for victory. Playing down the slope in the first half, the team made good use of possession to open up a 20-5 interval lead thanks to a hat-trick from Hirons and a further try from Elstub. In the second half, the team defended manfully and restricted Newmarket to a single try. They also managed to create the space for Hirons and Elstub to add further tries and complete a memorable victory. St Ives U9 0, Ely U9 10 PLAYING down the slope in the first half, St Ives were unable to turn possession into points as handling errors at vital times let them down against Ely. By contrast, the home side took full advantage of their possession to run in two exciting tries up the hill and take a 10 point half time lead. The second half was more evenly matched with both sides tackling strongly and neither side able to make a decisive break. Sam Kennedy and Toby Naylon ran strongly but both were hauled down short of the line while Lachlan Park tackled with the strength of two men to keep Ely at bay.