Excitement at St Ives Rugby Club as they launch girls' section
- Credit: PAUL COX
St Ives Rugby Club are set to add to their ever-growing list of teams by launching a girls' section.
The Somersham Road-based club already have plenty of girls playing in mini rugby but there was no provision for them once they hit 12, when boys and girls start playing separately.
So to help, they are a section for girls aged between 12 and 16, the first training session for which will be at 7pm on Wednesday, February 23.
All are welcome regardless of experience.
Some of those already with the club gave the senior men their support as ball girls on Saturday, and they watched as Ives went close to surprising the Midlands Two East (South) leaders Olney, eventually falling to a 19-14 defeat.
The home side had to do it the hard way, trailing 19-0 at half-time but having deserved more.
And with a stiff breeze behind them, they produced some superb rugby in the second half with the forwards excelling in the scrums.
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And it was from one such set-piece that they got themselves on the board, Rick Peters dropping on the ball as the pack rumbled over the line.
Mitch Newman added the conversion but he wasn't given the chance again, even when Olney were reduced to 14 for persistent infringing.
However, that didn't mean Ives were closing the gap and a penalty try after another scrum was destroyed left Olney with 13 men for five minutes and just a five-point lead.
Over-eagerness to grab the win led to offsides and that one important final pass from sticking and the visitors were relieved to see the clock tick down.
There was a losing bonus point though for Ives with head coach Max Dominy pleased with the effort shown.
He said: "It’s another game that we could have nicked, but that is sport. I am proud of the lads’ efforts.
"We’ll take the learnings from today and look forward to applying ourselves fully for 80 minutes next week."
Huntingdon & District were on the right side of another narrow game as they beat Daventry 17-14 on the road in Midlands Three East (South).
The gritty success was just what the doctor ordered after back-to-back league defeats.
The hosts started the brighter but didn't trouble the scoreboard and Huntingdon made them pay on their first venture forward, Rory Saunders going through a hole in midfield to canter in under the posts untouched.
But from the restart Stags failed to effectively clear their lines and it allowed the hosts to apply a further spell of pressure, culminating in a converted try.
The lead changed hands again after quick thinking between Luca Proietti and Nick Vallance on half way allowed Jack Skidmore to outpace the cover and score.
This time Joe Hicken landed the extras and they went close to adding to the lead when a sweeping backs move from touchline to touchline saw Jonathan Ward tackled just short of the line by the scrambling Daventry defence.
The hosts though did have the lead at half-time, a second converted try doing the damage, and the majority of the second half was a tight affair, with the Daventry inside backs providing a tough defensive examination for the Stags.
Fortunately though for the visitors the only try of the second 40 minutes went their way, Saunders once again operating effectively in the outside-centre channel, dummying and going over from 10 metres.
Hicken was off target with this conversion and with both teams desperate to score again in the final 10 minutes, cards were flashed regularly, Ward and Daniel Malem seeing yellow for Huntingdon while Daventry picked up one yellow and one red.
St Neots meanwhile romped to a 96-0 win over South Leicester to go top of Midlands Four East (South) - but there were plenty of plaudits for the vanquished visitors.
The bottom of the table side still travelled even though they only had 11 players and were still keen to play.
It was agreed to play under the RFU's game-on rules with both teams fielding 10-players-per side for three 20-minute periods.
Uncontested scrums meant there was a lot of running about, more than some of the forwards wanted, but good hands and running lines allowed Saints to score at regular intervals.
Kieran Rook got things going and Jack Webb, James Larman, captain Aiden Jordan, Aedan Pearsell, Rory Dingemans and Phil Fernie all helped themselves to tries.
South Leicester did not give up at any point and their dogged determination to put some points on the board were only thwarted by sterling defence.
Adam Porter and Jordan Rook were in charge of kicking and there was further tries over the next two periods for
Dingemans (two more) and Webb while Jordan helped himself to another three.
Club captain Nick Ashford, Dean Terrablanche and Fernie wrapped things up.
The club's youngsters were also in action this weekend with the U13s playing Bletchley.
A club spokeswoman said: "Both teams competed well despite the strong wind but the team showed just how well they are building with a comprehensive victory.
"It was great seeing so many new players getting stuck in, some only in their third game.
"Strong rucking provided us with some front-foot ball from which to play with and their fast accurate hands found space all over the pitch."