RUGBY: Another memorable success in a never-to-be-forgotten season for St Ives
- Credit: Archant
Head coach Phil Brown toasted an ‘outstanding achievement’ as St Ives secured promotion to Midlands Division Two East (South) for the first time.
The Bulls overcame traffic problems and injury issues to secure their rise in class with a 14-12 triumph at Luton outfit Stockwood Park last Saturday.
And they need only one more victory from their final four league games to be crowned Midlands Division Three East (South) champions – another notable first for the progressive club.
Brown said: “Securing promotion was our number one priority for the season and it ranks as an outstanding achievement.
“Looking at the two teams who were promoted last season – Long Buckby and Stewart & Lloyds – it is clear that we have a big step ahead of us.
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“We know it will be hard work next season but our development plan has been focused on ensuring we are able to compete at that level immediately.
“We feel we have set our sights realistically on being in the mid-table group, and we believe we have the game and the personnel to manage that.”
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Ollie Raine sprinted in from 40 yards to provide the first try for St Ives last Saturday with player-coach John Naylor adding the conversion.
Stockwood Park replied with a try of their own before a last-ditch tackle denied Raine on the stroke of half-time.
St Ives piled on the pressure early in the second period before conceding a penalty which allowed the hosts to break upfield and claim a try with their first attack of the half.
A successful conversion left them five points clear, but a depleted St Ives side summoned up a super response to seal promotion.
Duncan Williams burst through the Stockwood Park defence following a quickly-taken penalty to touch down under the posts and Naylor sent over a simple conversion to seal the latest in a long line of memorable victories in a never-to-be-forgotten season.
They sealed promotion only a week after an historic Midlands Senior Vase triumph and they now turn their attention to a National Senior Vase semi-final against Northern area winners Wath Upon Dearne in Yorkshire this Saturday.