ROOSTERS pushed undefeated league leaders Bedford Tigers all the way in a see-saw encounter that either team could have snatched.

Rugby League

Conference East Division

St Ives Roosters 28

Bedford Tigers 30

ROOSTERS pushed undefeated league leaders Bedford Tigers all the way in a see-saw encounter that either team could have snatched.

The home side were ultimately made to pay for switching off at the start and the end of the game, going 16-0 down within 12 minutes, recovering to take the lead only to lose the match at the last. A storming hour in the middle showed what the Roosters are capable of at their best, but they could not hold on against the table-toppers.

The Roosters got off to the worst possible start when the Tigers' Sam Richbell opened the scoring in the first minute, picking up from the base of the scrum to power through the line.

It was the same man who stretched his team's lead just two minutes later, this time breaking through a weak defence and racing 50 metres to score. Both tries were converted, giving the visitors a 12-0 lead with the match barely underway.

Svend Larsen's unconverted try after 12 minutes compounded the Roosters' terrible start, and the Tigers seemed to have the match in the bag.

Ashley Eusden got Roosters on the comeback trail with an unconverted try on 17 minutes, and Sam Peel got the reward for his influence at centre when he scored on 27 minutes, also unconverted.

Bedford's handling errors were seized upon by the Roosters as they sensed a way back into the game, and brothers Callum and Jamie Laing claimed a try each, both converted by Matt Dear for a 20-16 lead at the break.

Eusden's second try of the game gave Roosters breathing space, though the conversion was missed, before Peel touched down his second to make it 28-16.

The Roosters' loss of concentration cost them dear as two Tigers tries in quick succession cut the home lead to just four points.

With two minutes to go, the desperate Roosters defence finally yielded and the Tigers crossed for the decisive converted try to seal a two-point win.

N Roosters play Northampton Demons at Brackley RFC on Saturday at 2.30pm.