St Ives power up and close one out with win at Stamford
- Credit: PAUL COX
St Ives mastered the high winds to claim a first win in six at Stamford.
The 31-22 success in Midlands Two East (South) was no more than they deserved for a powerful performance than laid the ghost of some narrow losses in recent weeks, three of the last five defeats coming by five points or less.
Here though they subdued their hosts from the word go, forcing errors and winning an early line-out that was propelled over the line, Dip Adams getting the final touch.
They were playing into the teeth of the wind in the first half but continued to keep the ball in hand and were rewarded by another score, this one started from another scrum that the Ives pack enjoyed shoving back towards their own posts.
This time a superb maul that went all of 20 metres splintered the home defence and was finally popped out to Alex Henly who strolled over the line to score, converted by Mitch Newman.
Another seven-point haul, Mike Brennan the scorer, gave them a 19-0 lead but an injury to Ollie Bartlett saw a juggle of positions and in the confusion, Stamford pull a converted score back before the interval.
And the home side started the second period strong too, cutting the lead to two points with another converted try and penalty.
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But Ives kicked it up a gear again and determined running gave Adams a second, converted in extraordinary fashion by Newman, angling his kick away from the posts before letting the wind do the rest.
Cullan Smy finished off the Ives scoring with Stamford getting a consolation late on.
The second-team gave debuts for 17-year-old pair Lewis Olivier and Connor O’Neill in their match against Ely and both gave fine accounts of themselves in their first senior outings.
Olivier took the man of the match award too but Ives fell to a 14-5 defeat, even if some felt that the full duration of the second period had not been played.
Huntingdon & District meanwhile fell to a 36-0 loss at home to leaders Stockwood Park in Midlands Three East (South) but there was a win for St Neots.
They are second in Division Four East (South) after the 40-5 success at Thorney.