Kempton 17 St Ives Bulls 19 A NARROW victory gave St Ives their first away win in two seasons and saw them complete the double over rivals Kempston. In truth, the game became more of a mud wrestling contest with torrential rain coming down after 10 minut
St Ives Bulls 19
A NARROW victory gave St Ives their first away win in two seasons and saw them complete the double over rivals Kempston.
In truth, the game became more of a mud wrestling contest with torrential rain coming down after 10 minutes of play.
The wet conditions proved detrimental to St Ives who were unable to utilise their backs to the full potential but still managed to come out on top.
The opening dry 10 minutes did allow Saints to run the ball and come close to scoring on two occasions, but the opening score came from an interception in the end.
Lee Jackson pounced on a loose pass to streak away under the posts for the opening score with Adam Clark successfully converting.
Saints were then requested to perform defensive duties in a see-saw encounter that saw both sides enjoying possession throughout the remainder of the second half. Some strong scrimmaging from the pack ensured clean possession and retention of ball, with some excellent play up front from Pete Hammond, Gez Gilburt and Josh Dear containing a strong Kempston front line.
Some good possession from Kempston eventually paid off though - a series of drives sucked up the St Ives defence and allowed the home side to score close to the posts, giving the visitors a 7-5 half time lead.
The second half started with the same downpour that marred most of the first half, but St Ives were reluctant to let it dampen their game plan.
Some quick recycled ball from the forwards found John Paxton the space to run, a series of dummy drop offs created the gap for him to cut through and pop the ball up to debutante Barney Harrison who demonstrated a circus act of juggling and eventually claimed the ball and crashed over for the score though Clark missed the conversion.
Again a see-saw battle ensued, with both teams struggling to retain a period of possession before the poor conditions forced the mistake.
Kempston were first to capitalise on this and created the space out wide to steam up the field.
Some excellent defending and two covering tackles in a row from Marc Sands were unfortunately not enough to prevent the try from coming though the conversion was missed.
What followed was 10 minutes of heart in mouth defence from St Ives. The home side piled everything in to try and snatch the lead but the defence held firm, some excellent tackling from James Yeomans and John Paxton ensured that the Kempston attack was knocked back every time.
Saints then gained possession on the halfway line through Mike Sykes, who held up the ball and created the gap for Ollie Moorhouse to streak through. Steaming for the line it was obvious that the opposition's full back was going to cause problems so Moorhouse unselfishly offloaded to Lee Jackson allowing him to score his second of the game again under the posts which Clark converted.
With three minutes to play St Ives felt they were home and dry but Kempston had other plans and following a missed tackle in midfield, scored under the posts and bagged the conversion to set up a nervous final minute but Saints held on.
The seconds notched up their first win of 2007 in a home game against Oundle. Tries from Chris Bacon, James Cannon and Jim Lewsam were enough to see St Ives run out 17-14 winners.