St Ives saw their recent revival brought to a halt last Saturday.

St Ives man Mitch Newman does battle at Belgrave. Picture: PAUL COXSt Ives man Mitch Newman does battle at Belgrave. Picture: PAUL COX

The second-bottom Bulls were caught cold at second-placed Belgrave as they fell to a 39-21 defeat at the hands of their high-flying hosts in Midlands Division Two East (South).

A problematic journey to Leicester was a contributory factor in a poor performance in the opening half as St Ives conceded 29 points without reply - the vast majority arriving courtesy of three tries in the early stages.

Two further Belgrave tries arrived just before half-time to effectively end the contest, but St Ives were much improved in the second period after leaving themselves with a mountain to climb.

An impressive lineout claim from Shaun Mundy was followed by an equally as classy burst over the line from Paul Ashbridge.

Paul Ashbridge went over for two tries during St Ives' loss to Belgrave. Picture: PAUL COXPaul Ashbridge went over for two tries during St Ives' loss to Belgrave. Picture: PAUL COX

Belgrave hit back almost immediately for their sixth try following a series of mauls as the Bulls paid the price for indiscretions which allowed the home side to set up camp in their territory.

But they were soon back on the front foot with another score as Wawick Brittany scorched down the touchline and left the Belgrave defence trailing in his wake.

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St Ives crossed the line again as Ashbridge crashed through a home side temporarily depleted by three yellow cards before Joseph Cox completed a faultless hat-trick of conversions.

The Bulls went on the attack in the search of a fourth try to earn a bonus point but they were undone at the other end as a loose ball led to another Belgrave score.

Bulls' matchday captain Tommy Newman admitted: "We have to take the positives from our performance in the second half into the coming weekend - and also make sure we start the first half of that game liked we did the second of this one!"

The next test for the Bulls is a home clash against Bugbrooke at Somersham Road this Saturday.

* St Ives 2nds continued their excellent season in the Eastern Counties League with another victory last Saturday.

The Bulls side thumped Ely 2nds 39-10 in Division Two West with Stuart Cornwell scoring four of their tries.

Callum Long, Tom Shiels and Owen Clarricoats also touched down with Jack Blackley adding two conversions.