Roosters racking up points in chase for East Premier League prizes

Duncan Williams in action for St Ives Roosters in their victory against Brentwood Eels. Picture: LEI

Duncan Williams in action for St Ives Roosters in their victory against Brentwood Eels. Picture: LEIGH CHATTEN - Credit: Archant

Blink and there’s every chance you’ll miss something where St Ives Roosters are concerned.

The local lads’ four East Premier League outings so far in the 2016 season have produced a staggering 344 points. Paul Ashbridge’s men have scored 144 of those themselves and leaked the other 200 during an inconsistent and unpredictable start to the campaign.

But they took a step in the right direction last Saturday when edging to a 54-46 triumph against the Brentwood Eels as the two teams racked up a ton of points between them in a thriller.

Purists and defensive coaches may well have been alarmed at what they were seeing, but those who like their sport to be high-scoring and action-packed will have been left heartily satisfied.

A hat-trick of first-half tries from the returning Adam Peel and an Ashbridge touch-down helped Roosters ease into a 24-10 advantage at the interval, but that was quickly slashed in the second period.

The advantage was cut to two points before Rhod Howcroft crashed through a series of challenges to claim a try that provided some brief respite, but Roosters then found themselves behind after two more scores from the visitors.

They responded well as David Sykes powered over for a trademark try after being switched to hooker from a starting position in the back row.

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Ashbridge then followed up with his second score of the afternoon, but Roosters failed to keep tabs on the slippery Eels and saw an eight-point advantage turn into a four-point deficit in a short space of time.

But they upped the ante in the closing stages to emerge victorious. Captain Michael Blackley launched the move from which Howcroft put them back on top before Duncan Williams swotted a stack of tired opponents before crossing the line to finally secure success.

The fine kicking of Ashbridge, who successfully guided over all nine conversion attempts, also proved decisive for Roosters.

Captain Blackley admitted: “It certainly wasn’t a defensive display to be proud of, but we got through it to win the game.

“I asked the lads for an extra 10 per cent when we were behind with 10 minutes to go, and that’s exactly what they gave me.

“Fair play to Brentwood for the way they battled with only 14 available men, but we let them back into the game far too many times for my liking.

“At least we picked up the victory and it now gives us something to build on.”

Roosters hit the road tomorrow when facing the St Albans Centurions – a team they beat 42-40 on the opening day of the campaign.

That set the tone for a points-laden summer so far in which Roosters have also been beaten 58-28 at Bedford Tigers and 56-20 against Hemel Hempstead Stags before returning to winning ways last Saturday.