Rugby: Ives suffer against team of two halves

St Ives Bedford Blues U15 33 St Ives 21 AFTER a rollercoaster first half against Bedford, in which St Ives raced to a 21-10 lead at the break, the visitors could not repeat the performance after the interval. Tries from James Wood, Matt Nice and Breed, al

St Ives

Bedford Blues U15 33 St Ives 21

AFTER a rollercoaster first half against Bedford, in which St Ives raced to a 21-10 lead at the break, the visitors could not repeat the performance after the interval.

Tries from James Wood, Matt Nice and Breed, all converted by Nice, gave St Ives the half-time edge, but Bedford unleashed an entirely new team for the second half.

Despite some fantastic tackling, Bedford's stand-off resorted to his kicking game, which set the platform for three Bedford tries, one converted, a drop goal and a penalty.

The scoreline was harsh on St Ives who, competed well throughout the game and produced an excellent performance.

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St Ives U14 53 Bedford 0

SPORTING their new playing shirts, sponsored by Icopal, St Ives started positively against a depleted Bedford side, bolstered by some of the home side's replacements.

In a game played with great spirit by both sides, the hosts were determined to put all their hard work in training in to practice.

The result was a wonderful demonstration of "15-man" rugby, with passages of interplay between a tireless forward pack and selfless back line.

The tries came from Tino Zicchi (3), Matt Bligh (2), Liam Cook, Andrew Howard, Jordan Francis and Tom Watts, with Andrew Howard hitting four conversions. However, this was a real team effort and credit goes to the whole squad and especially those that offered to become "opposition" for the morning. In a close contest, MoM was Andy Cox, for keeping forwards and backs working well together.

St Ives U9 5 Banbury U9 10

THE Young Bulls put up a brave fight against a strong Banbury side, despite playing with a man down after illness to Nick Abbott.

In an end-to-end match, both sides had chances to score before Banbury took the lead following a driving maul.

They then extended the lead following a flowing move to score in the corner. St Ives pulled one back before the break after Tyler Elstub put Sam Hirons away on a long run to the corner, following a scrum. The second half could have gone either way but defences remained on top and Banbury held on to their slender lead

St Ives U9 0 Long Buckby U9 10

ANOTHER tight match was settled by two tries early in the second half from the Leicester side, who sportingly lent St Ives a player to produce an even contest. St Ives had several chances to score, but handling errors at critical times and good tackling from Long Buckby kept the Young Bulls at bay.

St Ives U9 5 Leighton Buzzard U9 0

SAINTS produced a fantastic defensive effort to shut out Leighton Buzzard with captain Chris Radbone leading by example and receiving fantastic support from Max Davies and Lachlan Park.

Strong driving runs from Tim Dale and Daniel McManus set up the platform for Tyler Elstub to put Sam Hirons away for another splendid try just before the break. In the second half last-gasp tackling from Elstub and Hirons kept St Ives' noses in front but the lads finished the stronger, with both Sam Kennedy and skipper Radbone going close in the final stages.

St Ives U9 10 Kettering U9 10

IN another exciting match, a passionate display from the team earned St Ives a hard fought draw against strong opposition.

Following a penalty, Sam Hirons unpicked the Kettering defence to score from close range. Only a few minutes later, Kettering equalised and then took the lead shortly before the break following a strong run and sidestep from their prop forward.

Fears that St Ives would crumble following the demanding schedule were unfounded however and, following strong approach play prop Harry Guest, a late loan signing from Long Buckby was driven across the line by fellow forwards Daniel McManus and Chris Radbone to grab a fully deserved equaliser.

St Neots

St Neots 5 Shelford I 35

ST NEOTS were under pressure from the start in this well contested game but some missed tackles early on enabled Shelford to take a two-try lead.

St Neots started to move the ball well but a wicked interception left them defenceless for another Shelford try.

A further Shelford try from the last play of the half added to St Neots' task after the break.

The hosts started the second half in a more determined fashion and the forwards of Adam Williams, Adam Haywood and Cameron Horn, were rewarded with a penalty deep in the Shelford half. Curtis Bundy made a fantastic run and side step from the penalty kick to get St Neots' first points of the day.

Saints' forwards continued to battle for the ball and were a match for Shelford in the scrum and maul, but the visitors were well organised and released their backs quickly from open play, running in three more tries before the final whistle.

St Neots 15 Rushden 10

THE home side made a great start to the game with Ben Tyler making a mazy run straight from the kick off to score.

St Neots were strong in defence and some excellent tackling from Andrew Gulliver kept the pressure on Rushden.

St Neots pressed home the advantage with a quick ball from a scrum releasing Ben Tyler for his second try.

Rushden pulled a try back early in the second half but St Neots continued to push forward with Adam Williams making a determined run and diving try in the corner to maintain the lead. However, Rushden scored their second try with just a few minutes left to go, setting up an exciting finish to the game, but St Neots held their nerve and secured a hard-fought win.

St Neots 5 Shelford II 40

ST NEOTS once again found a well organised Shelford team, whose backs stretched a tired looking St Neots' defence, running in six tries before half time.

The hosts looked more resilient in the second half and scored a well worked try from the line out; with scrum-half Lewis Medlow powering his way through to score. However, Shelford continued to draw St Neots in to the tackle and then quickly distribute the ball wide for their backs. Two more Shelford tries rounded off a convincing win.

Huntingdon Stags

Stags U9 0 Oundle U9 0

Good mauling and passing rugby produced chances for both sides, but sound defensive work kept both attacks at bay.

Stags U9 5 Oundle U9 0

STAGS played some great passing rugby which eventually resulted in a try by George Furbank before the break.

In the second half, very competitive defense resulted in Stags holding onto the slender lead to take the win.

Stags U9 10 Oundle U9 10

IN the first half, Oundle managed to break from a maul which all the Stags players had been drawn into and score a try to give them a half-time lead.

Early in the second half, Oundle scored an identical try to their first, leaving Stags trailing by two scores.

However, the hosts didn't let their heads drop and they fought back with two well taken tries by Joff Fryett and James Harris, to give Stags a deserved draw.

Huntingdon U14 10 Peterborough U14 0

A TRY in each half was enough to give Huntingdon a winning start to 2006 in a hard fought game against Peterborough

From a Stags penalty, Benzie took a good pass and found a gap through the strong Peterborough defence to score.

In the second half, Stags were camped out five metres from the Peterborough try line and try as they might, the Stags could not find a way through the Peterborough defence.

Then a poor Stags pass was intercepted by a Peterborough player who ran the length of the Stags half before being tackled by Smith.

Eventually quick passing down the Stags back line allowed.Smith to score Stags' second try.