Skipper Matt Cartwright played a starring role as St Neots claimed their first win of the new Midlands Division Three East (South) season.

Action from St Neots' victory against Daventry. Picture: HELEN DRAKEAction from St Neots' victory against Daventry. Picture: HELEN DRAKE

Cartwright went over for all four Saints tries as they edged out Daventry 22-19 in a nail-biting clash at The Common last Saturday.

But the captain was quick to insist it was a complete team performance which secured the bonus-point triumph.

He said: “We knew we had a strong squad capable of getting the result and the way we performed did not disappoint. We played with real intent and looked to attack at every opportunity.

“It became a bit of a nail-biter towards the end as Daventry pushed us all the way, but we held strong and put our bodies on the line to get the victory.”

Action from St Neots' victory against Daventry. Picture: HELEN DRAKEAction from St Neots' victory against Daventry. Picture: HELEN DRAKE

St Neots fell behind to a Daventry penalty but Cartwright soon crossed for the first of his tries when darting through a gap following a drive from a line out.

Another successful penalty reduced the visitors’ arrears before they went over for a try to hit the front late in the first half.

But Saints responded immediately as Cartwright released winger Joe Woodgate before accepting a return pass to touch down.

Half-time replacement Keiran Martin saw a pushover try disallowed as Saints seized the initiative against an ill-disciplined Daventry side reduced to 13 men, but they refused to be denied and Cartwright soon completed his hat-trick.

And his fourth score wasn’t long in coming as he received a long pass from stand-in fly-half James Michael to power over the line.

A third penalty and second try from Daventry slashed their deficit and Saints were reliant on a last-ditch tackle from Dan Miller to prevent them completing a late turnaround.

St Neots are back on home turf this Saturday when hosting Dunstablians.