Neots win, but St Ives and Stags are defeated

HUNTINGDON Stags and St Ives Bulls both suffered heavy weekend defeats, but St Neots enjoyed an impressive win.

Midlands 2E(S)

Leicester Vipers 23-3 Huntingdon Stags

STAGS skipper Ben Strangeways admitted his side’s limp performance on their way to defeat against a dogged Vipers outfit at the weekend just wasn’t good enough.

Huntingdon turned in their weakest performance of the season so far, with Wayne Bradley’s penalty their only solace.

Reflecting on the defeat, Strangeways said: “We knew it was not going to be easy.

“We had a week filled with disruptions leading up to the game and had several key players missing but, excuses aside, we simply didn’t perform to our potential.”

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Vipers’ early pressure resulted in them scoring a converted try before the hosts, who had been reduced to 14-men for a period of the first half, extended their lead to 10-0 from the boot of their penalty kicker.

Bradley’s penalty reduced the deficit to 10-3 before the interval, although a fumbled ball in midfield and missed tackles midway through the second half allowed Vipers to run in their second converted try to make it 17-3.

Two late penalties put the cap on a comfortable victory for Vipers and meant it is back to the drawing board for Stags.

Assistant coach Nick Wilcox added: “The difference between the teams was that they scored points when we made mistakes but we didn’t score from theirs.”

Stags, who currently sit eighth in the Midlands Two East South table with one win and eight points from five games played, are back in Leicester on Saturday – at Vipers’ rivals Forest.

Midlands 4E(S)

Biggleswade 29-3 St Ives

LEAGUE leaders Biggleswade overran Ives in a feisty affair.

Ives started well, with lineouts dominated by Andy Grieve and Ross Thompson, and Josh Meadows making life difficult for the home side.

However, ball retention was difficult, and Biggleswade countered with crunching tackles. Ives had their share of penalties, and but Jack Blackley’s radar was awry.

A penalty breakthrough for Biggleswade got them going, and they added two tries as Ives’ concentration lapsed.

In the second half, the Bulls attack continued to push but was repeatedly broken down by the solid home defence. Midway through the half both teams lost a player to the sin-bin.

Biggleswade extended their lead with two quick tries to kill the contest.

• THE U17 Bulls entertained Peterborough with both teams depleted through injury and absence. Ives dominated without troubling the scorers, but once Roger Shakespeare touched down, tries for Michael Wright and Albert Tayedzerwa soon followed.

Peterborough scored their try early in the second period, but the young Bulls tied it up when debutant scrum half Dan Robinson made it 24-5.

Midlands 4E(S)

Aylestone Athletic 6-19 St Neots

ST NEOTS overcame difficult pitch conditions to return from Leicestershire with the points.

Saints got straight into the task at hand, putting an early score on the board through a penalty scrum. Charlie Usher took a quick tap and dived over for a try converted by Adam Peel.

In a tight first half, Athletic responded with a penalty, but the scored remained at 7-3 at the break.

St Neots controlling the ball from the restart and kept Aylestone pinned in their own half. Left wing Adam Hanley added a second try when he came inside to take Dave Gamble’s pass and powered through the defence from 20 metres out.

Aylestone kicked another penalty, but the Neots forwards dominated the remainder of the game.

A surge from the pack allowed scrum-half Usher to pinch his second try of the day, converted again by Peel.