Halloween comes early for St Ives but wins for Huntingdon and St Neots

No way through for Mike Brennan of St Ives in their defeat to Olney.

No way through for Mike Brennan of St Ives in their defeat to Olney. - Credit: PAUL COX

A Halloween horror show saw St Ives suffer a mauling away to Olney but there was better news for Huntingdon & District and St Neots.

The hosts for the 95-0 defeat were the leaders of Midlands Two East (South) and had won all four of the previous games and although Ives were left bloodied by the hiding, there were still some positives to take.

Fin Matthews breaks clear for St Ives in their defeat to Olney.

Fin Matthews breaks clear for St Ives in their defeat to Olney. - Credit: PAUL COX

For one it is unlikely Olney will play any better this year. Everything they tried, from ambitious off-loads to lines of running through chinks of defence, was done with an almost metronomic degree of accuracy.

And there were a number of debutants playing who despite the onslaught, came through their first game with plaudits.

Rees Burns on the charge for St Ives in their defeat to Olney.

Rees Burns on the charge for St Ives in their defeat to Olney. - Credit: PAUL COX

Paul Ashbridge, pressed into stand-off duties at the last moment, encouraged new centre pairing of Fin Matthews and debutant Rees Burns on to the ball and only strong defence by the hosts prevented them from putting points on the board.

Olney had eight tries by half-time but regardless of the final outcome, Ives were pleased with their second-half showing.

Dip Adams, Ashbridge and Ollie Bartlett all made good breaks but the Olney scramble defence was also in fine fettle for the day, snuffing out any and all opportunities.

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The home side scored tries at regular intervals as Ives tired but the final two scores, which added further gloss to the score, were both scored from turnovers deep in the Olney half as the Bulls pressed for a consolation.

Huntingdon meanwhile came through a tight battle at home to Daventry in Midlands Three East (South) with a 26-24 success.

They played some excellent rugby for the most part and at one stage had taken a 26-7 lead thanks to tries from Tom Morgan, Adam Garood (two) and Sam Hirons, who also had one disallowed for a foot in touch.

Jo Hickens kicked three conversions and second row Rory Saunders shone with strong carries opening gaps all over the field.

But they started to relax, throwing away three golden opportunities to score again, and it all allowed the visitors to close to within two points by the final whistle.

Coach Tom Laws said: "It was a frustrating day. We played some good stuff and got the win but the inexperience in a young side showed through.

"As they play more league rugby, they will understand what is needed to put games to bed."

St Neots were given a walkover against South Leicester in Division Four East (South).

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