Roosters have plenty on their Plate after final triumph
- Credit: Archant
It is one down and two to go for St Ives Roosters in their honours chase.
The local lads claimed their first piece of silverware of 2015 when lifting the East Plate on Saturday - and they could hardly have done it in more dramatic style than by seeing off North Herts Crusaders 28-24 courtesy of a last-gasp try from Rhod Howcroft.
He stormed over in the final minute of an extra-time thriller in Hemel Hempstead as Roosters snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Captain Mickey Blackley said: “I’m delighted with how the lads performed. They played through injuries and fatigue to ensure we won the game. Lifting my first piece of silverware as captain was an incredibly proud moment and hopefully there will be more to come.
“We know we cannot afford to rest on our laurels as we want to take the league title and the Grand Final crown at the end of the season.”
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Roosters found themselves trailing to two Crusaders tries in the first half before player-coach Paul Ashbridge single-handedly hauled them level.
He marked his return from a five-week injury lay-off by bursting over from five yards and also did the honours with the conversion to reduce his side’s arrears to four points at the break
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Ashbridge continued his scoring spree early in the second period by intercepting a pass on the halfway line and charging in to score again.
The teams then traded unconverted tries with Roosters again falling behind before Stefan Gallucci shrugged off a nasty cut above an eye to level.
Sam Redhead then evaded a number of tackles to put them ahead for the first time, but the Crudsaders quickly came up with a response to restore parity and send the tie into extra-time.
Gallucci showed great footwork to gallop in for his second try, but Crusaders replied with a converted effort to edge ahead with time running out.
But it was Roosters who delivered when it mattered most as Howcroft crashed over for the crucial score before the boot of Ashbridge sealed their triumph.
The big games continue as table-topping Roosters travel to second-placed King’s Lynn Black Knights for a crunch East Premier Division clash this Saturday.