Oh so close as both St Ives and Huntingdon fall to one-point defeats

Bradley Robinson (standing up) scored twice for St Ives at home to Northampton Old Scouts.

Bradley Robinson (standing up) scored twice for St Ives at home to Northampton Old Scouts. - Credit: PAUL COX

St Ives gave promotion-chasing Northampton Old Scouts real scare in their latest Midlands Division Two East (South) game - almost snatching the win at the death.

The Bulls were beaten by just one point, going down 25-24 in a result that was in complete contrast to the 70-11 win for the Scouts in October.

Birthday boy Ollie Bartlett stops the winger short of the line.

Birthday boy Ollie Bartlett stops the winger short of the line. - Credit: PAUL COX

They may have expected little difference from that day when they kicked an early penalty in front of the posts but for the next 35 minutes, the Bulls showed tremendous character to hold firm.

They did eventually score before the break, taking a 10-0 lead into the second half, and Ives resistance seemed to have been broken completely with another Scouts try after the restart.

Tom Woodrow (right) soars to secure the line-out for St Ives.

Tom Woodrow (right) soars to secure the line-out for St Ives. - Credit: PAUL COX

But the visitors responded superbly, Paul Ashbridge putting Bradley Robinson in for their first, and the same player got his second following good drives from Dip Adams and Tommy Newman.

Scouts had landed a penalty in between those two scores and the got a converted try of their own afterwards to give them a 25-10 lead.

Substitute Ben Fleming almost grabbed a superb win for Ives though with to tries, the first after a panicked pass behind Scouts' own line went to ground and the second when he intercepted another pass and sprinted in 60 metres to score.

Paul Ashbridge converted the two late St Ives tries.

Paul Ashbridge converted the two late St Ives tries. - Credit: PAUL COX

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Ashbridge added both conversions to bring Ives to within a point but they had two make do with two losing bonus pints as the final whistle sounded.

Huntingdon & District head coach Reggie Reid piled the blame for their 18-17 defeat at Stewarts & Lloyds on a first-half horror show.

They started well enough with a penalty from Joe Hicken on six minutes but that was the only points they managed in the first period, with their Corby-based hosts scoring all of their points in the opening 40 minutes.

A rapidly-rising penalty count brought six points before two tries in the final minutes of the half added the rest.

The second half didn't show much signs of changing when Barnie West was yellow carded in the first act, but having successfully weathered that period, Huntingdon rallied and got a converted try through Sammy Johnson and the boot of Dan Malem.

Rory Saunders and Hicken added another seven points with five minutes to go but there was to be no final drama, the losing bonus point providing just small comfort.

Reid said: “We were our own worst enemy. We gave up field position and possession with silly and very avoidable penalties, which directly lead to their points.

"We showed good character in the second half to shut them out but the damage was done and we just ran out of time to get it back.

"The best team didn’t win."

St Neots meanwhile are up to third in Midlands Four East (South) after a 45-19 win over Northampton BBOB.

They have two games in hand on second-placed Brackley, two points ahead, and have played one game less than leaders Biggleswade who are seven points clear.