St Ives finished another fine season on a high . . . thanks to Hunts & Peterborough Cup glory.

Paul Ashbridge touches down for a St Ives try during the Hunts & Peterborough Cup final. Picture: PAUL COXPaul Ashbridge touches down for a St Ives try during the Hunts & Peterborough Cup final. Picture: PAUL COX

But it was far from a cakewalk in the Saturday showpiece as they were pushed hard by opponents who play two levels lower.

The Bulls eventually prevailed 43-28 in an 11-try thriller against Deepings at Peterborough to be left with a mixture of relief and delight.

Skipper Ollie Bartlett admitted: "That was a much tougher test than we expected, but we're delighted to come through it and win.

"It's great to be able to celebrate with a trophy at the end of the season before enjoying a well-earned rest for the summer."

Josh Dear on the charge for St Ives in the Hunts & Peterborough Cup final. Picture: PAUL COXJosh Dear on the charge for St Ives in the Hunts & Peterborough Cup final. Picture: PAUL COX

Their appeared little to be concerned about for St Ives as they ran in three tries during the first half to open up a 17-0 advantage by the break.

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Bartlett laid on the opening score for Bradley Robinson before Albiee Tayedzerwa and John Paxton both went over with the interval looming large.

And they had one hand firmly on the trophy when Paul Ashbridge added his name to the list of try-scorers early in the second period.

Any thoughts of an end-of-season stroll when soon ended as Deepings replied with a converted try, but it prompted a smart response as Pete Fahey gathered his own delightful chip to score under the posts.

However, Deepings weren't about to wave the white flag and produced two more converted tries to reduce their arrears to 10 points and create the outside possibility of a shock.

The Bulls ensured that's all it ever became as their leading try-scorer, Ashbridge, claimed his second score of the afternoon before Deepings added a fourth try to their tally.

But the final word belonged to Ben Fleming in the closing stages as the Bulls sealed a trophy success which brought the curtain down on another pleasing campaign following a debut-season third place in Midlands Division Two East (South).

It also completed a quick trophy double for the club, arriving hot on the heels of a Cambridgeshire Junior Plate triumph for the 2nds the previous weekend.