St Ives captain Ollie Bartlett is confident his side will quickly bounce back from their first defeat of the Midlands Division Two East (South) campaign.
The Bulls were knocked off the top of the early-season standings when going down to a 36-21 reverse at Market Bosworth last Saturday – a result which left them disappointed but far from disheartened.
Much of the damage was done in the opening half when they conceded four tries to see their three-match winning streak come to an end.
“We left ourselves too much to do after not defending well enough in the first quarter of the game,” said Bartlett.
“But we can be especially pleased with our performance in the second half when we out-scored Market Bosworth despite playing against the slope and we know we’ll bounce back from this defeat.”
An early penalty gave the hosts the edge before the opening try then increased their advantage.
The Bulls soon conceded another score as they found themselves under constant pressure and 17 points in arrears after only half of the opening period.
Market Bosworth continued their rampage with a third converted try before Greg Dale sneaked through a gap to touch down for a welcome St Ives score with Jim Robinson adding the extras.
That try provided a welcome boost to the Bulls who were then much improved in the second half when successfully quelling many of their hosts’ attacking threats.
They struck again when Alex Henly sped in and Robinson converted, but the loss of debutant Rick Peters to a yellow card checked their momentum and Market Bosworth made their extra man count with two tries in quick succession to seal victory.
Josh Dear claimed a consolation try – again converted - for St Ives but the disappointment of a first defeat was compounded by what looked to be a serious knee injury to Stuart Cornwell.
The Bulls also handed a debut to recent arrival Dave Carter while full-back Joe Cox made a first start at senior level following a late withdrawal.
St Ives host Market Harborough in their next fixture on October 20.
* St Neots’ trip to Leicester Forest in Midlands Division Three East (South) was postponed.