RUGBY UNION: Bulls go on a try charge to claim the Hunts derby bragging rights
- Credit: Archant
St Ives showed no mercy to struggling local rivals St Neots when racking up a landslide Huntingdonshire derby success last Saturday.
The Bulls hit the road to record a 49-7 success at The Common which left them sitting pretty in the top six and plunged their beaten hosts deeper into relegation trouble.
St Ives know all about scrapping for survival at this level themselves after being involved in the dog-fight in the last two seasons, but they’re a different beast in the current campaign as a magnificent seven-try haul highlighted again.
Skipper Josh Dear said: “Derby games against St Neots are always tough encounters, but we went there to do a job.
“The fact we picked up such a big win, yet know we left some opportunities out there, shows how well we played as a team.”
St Ives had to be patient early on and a solitary Paul Ashbridge penalty was all that troubled the scoreboard in the opening half-hour.
But St Ives took command with a pair of converted tries in the closing minutes of the first period as a slick move allowed Tommy Newman to stroll in before Mickey Drake gathered two of his own chips forward to race in for a fine individual effort.
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Those exploits – combined with another Ashbridge penalty - opened up a 20-point advantage and St Ives had more joy following the restart.
Drake produced another solo kick-and-chase to leave a flat-footed home defence trailing in his wake and a bonus point was in the bag when Josh Meadows darted in.
Ashbridge converted the Drake score and added a try of his own when bursting over in the corner.
Further fireworks followed as darkness began to set in with Will Nelson’s surge into the St Neots 22 providing the foundation from which Ollie Bartlett touched down for another converted try.
And Bartlett soon struck again following a mesmerising 70-metre run full of swerves and sidesteps.
That spectacular effort completed St Ives’ bumper haul of points before St Neots claimed a late consolation courtesy of a converted try of their own.
Skipper Matt Cartwright went over and Joe Woodgate added the extras with the boot.
Cartwright said: “It was a devastating scoreline for us in what should have been a close fought war between local rivals.
“As much as we could try to look to the positives of being competitive in the first half, and getting on the scoreboard with a well-worked try at the end, we just weren’t anywhere near good enough.”
Both teams are back in action with home clashes on December 10.
St Ives host rock-bottom Aylestone St James while St Neots entertain unbeaten table-toppers Stewart & Lloyds.