RUGBY UNION: Half-century and a clean sheet for super St Ives while St Neots can’t stop the table-toppers

Alex Henly was among the St Ives try-scorers.

Alex Henly was among the St Ives try-scorers. - Credit: Archant

St Ives continued their fine Midlands Division Three East (South) season by brushing aside the basement boys last Saturday.

Paul Ashbridge touched down for two tries and kicked four conversions as St Ives thumped bottom side

Paul Ashbridge touched down for two tries and kicked four conversions as St Ives thumped bottom side Aylestone St James. - Credit: Archant

Phil Brown’s men racked up a half-century of points and shut out lowly visitors Aylestone St James in a 53-0 romp at Somersham Road.

Will Nelson, Ollie Bartlett and Paul Ashbridge all went over for tries in the first half with a stack more scores following in the second period.

Bartlett strolled in for his second try after a quickly-taken penalty by Josh Meadows before Alex Henly raced in at the corner to complete a slick team move.

Frustration began to set in for the struggling visitors as they became resigned to their unwanted 100 per cent record being increased to 10 successive defeats this season.

A swinging arm was missed by the referee, but not by the nose of St Ives man Stuart Cornwell, who was forced off injured, before Duncan Williams and a visiting player were sent to the sin bin after a flare-up.

But, once order had been restored, the Bulls finished with a flourish courtesy of four tries in the final quarter of an hour.

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Tom Margetts launched the late salvo before Meadows followed him in. Bartlett then completed his hat-trick before Ashbridge powered in for the closing try and also guided over four conversions in far-from-ideal kicking conditions.

St Ives skipper Josh Dear said: “The target was to prevent Aylestone St James from scoring and we’re very pleased to have managed that. We also scored plenty of points to set us up nicely for our final game of the year at Biggleswade this Saturday.

“That will be a test of how far we have come, but hopefully we can get the result to set our stall out for the second half of the season.”

It is second-bottom St Neots’ turn to face Leicester side Aylestone St James this Saturday in a basement battle. The locals hit the road in desperately need of a victory to boost their survival prospects.

St Neots were beaten 45-10 by table-toppers Stewart & Lloyds at The Common last Saturday.

Will Smith went over for the Saints’ try which was converted by Joe Woodgate, who also guided over a penalty.