RUGBY: A bunch of fives for St Ives as they ease to win over Casuals
- Credit: Archant
Rugby St Ives 34 Northampton Casuals 19
The Bulls exacted revenge over league rivals Northampton on Saturday and claimed maximum points to boot.
Casuals were looking to make it a double after claiming victory over St Ives earlier in the season but a standout performance from the Bulls ensured they had the last word, with five players going over for tries in a real team performance.
Team coach Phil Brown said: “It was as fine a performance as we could have wished for. We completed some excellent tries which I know impressed the supporters.”
After a period of strong early pressure, spearheaded by the Bulls’ pack, Ollie Raine found space enough to dive over the line to open the scoring. Paul Ashbridge added the conversion.
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Jack Blackley was next on the scoresheet, planting down at a stretch after being held up short of the line.
Casuals were not out of the contest, though, and enjoyed a period of dominance that saw them pull a try back. Ollie Bartlett, Raine, Ashbridge and Tommy Newman all worked tirelessly to keep the visitors at bay, but Casuals managed to add a second before the break to pull the scores level.
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Parity was short lived, however, as Ives rallied to score a pressure-relieving third. A loose ball was seized upon by a sprinting Mickey Drake, who chipped through and dived over to score. Ashbridge converted to bring the half to a close.
Having taken the momentum into the break, the hosts came out firing and added further scores in the second half through Alex Henly and skipper Josh Dear. Ashbridge also added a penalty to complete an excellent day for St Ives, who remain in third place in the league.
They return to action on March 4 when they travel to Northampton Men’s Own.
Also in action in Division 3 East were St Neots, who lost in a high-scoring tussle with Northampton BBOB. Battling Neots went down 46-31 to mid-table BBOB, a result which keeps them second from bottom. St Neots will also be away from home on March 4 as they travel to Northampton Casuals.