HUNTINGDON STAGS brought some relief to a difficult season as they cruised into the final of the Hunts and Peterborough Cup at St Ives on Saturday. Stags, who have so often found themselves outclassed in the league to be at the bottom of the table, but o

Stags played the free flowing rugby that has eluded them all season to knock 77 past Ives without reply

HUNTINGDON STAGS brought some relief to a difficult season as they cruised into the final of the Hunts and Peterborough Cup at St Ives on Saturday.

Stags, who have so often found themselves outclassed in the league to be at the bottom of the table, but on a superior display of rugby to crush their lower league opposition.

The visitors started to dominate from early on, pressing forward into St Ives' half. Their pressure paid off after five minutes when Stephen Foster ran between the posts after five minutes, and Wayne Bradley converted. Four minutes later James Thorp crossed the line to put Stags further ahead.

Neil Welsh made it 17-0 after 12 minutes with Bradley again converting, and three minutes later Ally Dunston ran through as the game became increasingly one sided. Stags had a 10 minute break from scoring before Elliot Baldwin made it 29-0, and 11 minutes after that Ben Strangeways made it 34-0, with Bradley converting four minutes before the interval.

Dunston powered past most of the Ives team on his own to score after 38 minutes and Bradley converted from a tight angle as Stags went in 43-0 ahead at the break despite a brief spell of pressure from the hosts.

There was no relief for the hosts after the interval as Stags powered forward and Ben Crean scored after 42 minutes. Two minutes later Chris Baines ran through as Bradley converted for a 55-0 lead. John Rowney hit the 60 mark after 48 minutes and Crean added another five points five minutes later.

Despite the hammering, Ives kept pressing forward with some good play as Stags became complacent and the hosts were unlucky not to get at least a consolation try. They edged close to the try line and brought on substitutes to add life to the game as they refused to surrender to the team three divisions above them.

After a 20 minute spell of Ives pressure, Stags finally awoke and responded with Crean completing his hat-trick, and Martin Holgate converted. Welsh ran in his second five minute from time to complete a crushing victory for the visitors.

Stags are through to the final against either Peterborough II or Peterborough Lions, who they will face in Huntingdon on May 2. Lions play in the division below Stags and II play two divisions above.