St Ives get stuck in the mud as difficult end to the season looms large

Mike Brennan powers over for the St Ives try supported by Oli Watts.

Mike Brennan powers over for the St Ives try supported by Oli Watts. - Credit: PAUL COX

St Ives are slowly being dragged into a relegation dogfight after defeat at home to Wellingborough.

The 15-5 loss means Ives are now just five points above the bottom two with six games remaining.

This contest was either marred by the wind and mud or enhanced by it, depending on your view of old-school rugby.

Ollie Bartlett of St Ives shows off the benefits of a mudbath.

Ollie Bartlett of St Ives shows off the benefits of a mudbath. - Credit: PAUL COX

Playing with elements in the first half, the hosts started well. Crucially, and despite this initial pressure, however, Ives never troubled the scoreboard.

In contrast, Wellingborough, led by their impressive fly-half Flynn Anderson, pounced on every mistake and when the home side were penalised in front of the posts, the penalty was gleefully accepted.

Bradley Robinson of St Ives is stopped in his tracks by the Wellingborough defence.

Bradley Robinson of St Ives is stopped in his tracks by the Wellingborough defence. - Credit: PAUL COX

And with the visitors’ defence holding firm, Anderson continued to put them deep into Ives territory with a good kicking game.

And it was from line-outs that the two tries of the first half came.

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The first was from a Boro put-in, the ball going loose but scooped up by an attacker for an easy converted score, while the second was from an overthrown Ives ball, the visiting forward able to simply grab the ball and slide over the line.

Shaun Mundy and Josh Dear mount an attack for St Ives.

Shaun Mundy and Josh Dear mount an attack for St Ives. - Credit: PAUL COX

Shaun Mundy was held up over the line as the half ended but Ives found themselves starting the second period 15-0 down.


The next 40 minutes saw the conditions deteriorate and although Ives had the better of the play, they couldn't find a way through the mudbath or the Wellingborough defence.


That finally changed with a little less than 10 minutes to go when Mike Brennan was helped over the line by great support from Oli Watts.

However, it was too little, too late.

Henri Cherrington and Joe Cox both came off the bench for St Ives.

Henri Cherrington and Joe Cox both came off the bench for St Ives. - Credit: PAUL COX

The seconds also had an outing against Cantabrigians with Ives led by Ben Peach and bolstered by guests from Sawston and St Neots.

For much of the game, Ives were on top, Graeme Stubbington kicking two fine conversions from the four tries scored to give them a 24-14 lead with only a few minutes left.

The introduction by the hosts of a speedster on the wing changed matters as he ran round the Ives defence twice, the second in the dying moments, with the final kick sealing victory for Cantabs.

On a day when scrums were to the fore, Huntingdon & District were left to rue small lapses at the set-piece as they lost 17-16 at home to Dunstablians.

Stags did draw first blood with a Joe Hicken penalty on six minutes but 10 minutes later, and with Dunstablians camped on the home line and using their dominant scrum to good effect, Hicken saw yellow for a technical offence.

On his return he kicked another penalty but either side of that were two tries to give the visitors a 10-6 lead at the break.

Hicken started the second half with another three points and despite their scrum still creaking, the one-point deficit remained until the final 10 minutes.

Another yellow card, this one for Charlie Saunders was compounded by a penalty try give the Dunstable side an eight-point gap.

Late urgency brought Huntingdon's best moments of the afternoon and was finished by a try from Liam Findlay and a conversion from Hicken but they couldn't find another score.

St Neots maintained their grip at the top of Midlands Four South (East) with a 46-12 home success over Stamford College Old Boys.

The visitors started well, maintaining possession and driving the ball into contact, but St Neots soaked up the pressure before unleashing their attack.

Bradley ran a line off a set-piece to go under the posts but it took a while for them to go through the gears. 

Ryan Burke's arrival shored up the scrum and he got try number two before Pete Sharp added a converted try.

James Larman and George Osborne kept the tries coming and although Stamford made a fight of it, another two tries followed from Bradley completing his hat-trick.

And captain Aiden Jordan finished the day off to leave Saints one point ahead of Biggleswade with 10 games played each.

St Neots U13s enjoyed a hugely-entertaining game in difficult conditions at home to Northampton Old Scouts.


Playing into the wind for the first half they found themselves on the wrong end of a few scores.

But they stuck to their task and played to their strengths and made the Scouts work hard for their 30-20 victory.

The man of the match chosen by the Old Scouts coaching team was Oscar McFadyen for his massive defensive tackles.