RUGBY UNION: Awesome Ashbridge inspires St Ives’ biggest success of the season - and 2nd XV provide further cause for celebration

St Ives 2nd XV are back row, left to right, Rob Olivier, Matt Margetts, Pete Wood-Eeles, Tim Lumley-

St Ives 2nd XV are back row, left to right, Rob Olivier, Matt Margetts, Pete Wood-Eeles, Tim Lumley-Good, Chris Morton, Jim Robinson, Graeme Stubbington, Luke Slade, Tommy Beauchene, front, Ben Fleming, Mat Johnson, Dave Lace, Craig Cheetham (captain), Ben Flanagan, Andy Frear and Cullan Smy. - Credit: Archant

St Ives ensured the early birds didn’t get the worm last Saturday.

Visitors Northampton Men’s Own arrived so early at Somersham Road for a Midlands Division Three East (South) clash that the clubhouse had not even been unlocked.

But they departed again later in the day with their tails firmly between their legs having been on the receiving end of a heavy defeat.

They were powerless to stop a Paul Ashbridge-inspired Bulls side powering to a 39-14 victory in a game where 40 of the 53 total points arrived in the second half.

The visitors edged it 7-6 at the break with their converted try proving slightly more valuable than Ashbridge’s two successful penalties.

But it was all about the home team in the second period as St Ives ran in five tries to leave their opponents trailing in their wake.

Ashbridge provided the first of them with a fine individual effort before Mickey Drake also displayed a flash of brilliance to go over.

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Ashbridge did the honours with the boot on both occasions but couldn’t add the conversion after Stuart James had bullocked his way across the line from close range.

Ashbridge resumed scoring duties when intercepting a pass and dashing in unchallenged for St Ives’ fourth try – enough to earn them a first bonus point of the success. He also converted it himself.

Men’s Own did briefly stem the St Ives tide with a consolation try, but the home side ended on a high as Ollie Bartlett rounded the visiting defence to touch down.

Fittingly, Ashbridge provided the final contribution with a conversion that took his personal tally to 24 points as the Bulls collected their fourth, and biggest, win of the campaign.

They return to action on November 19 with a daunting test against a Stewart & Lloyds side still boasting a perfect record.

* There was double cause for celebration at St Ives last Saturday.

While the 1st XV were continuing their fine start to the season, the 2nd XV also enjoyed success.

They stormed to the top of the Eastern Counties Greene King League Division Three West standings for the first time thanks to a 27-24 victory against previous leaders Cambourne.