Midlands 5 East (South) St Ives Bulls 22 Bedford Queens 26 The first 10 minutes on a muddy Somersham Road pitch did not go to plan as Queens came out of the blocks like a runaway steam train and caught St Ives unaware not once but twice in quick successio
Midlands 5 East (South)
St Ives Bulls 22 Bedford Queens 26
The first 10 minutes on a muddy Somersham Road pitch did not go to plan as Queens came out of the blocks like a runaway steam train and caught St Ives unaware not once but twice in quick succession.
Two converted tries saw St Ives go down 14-0 without even touching the ball. Thankfully the Bulls did not crumble and immediately launched a counter-offensive to get the game back on their terms. The St Ives pack knuckled down and drove the opposition back over their line to regain possession. From the resulting scrum Lee Jackson was on hand to pounce on the ball and score St Ives' first points of the day. Adam Clark made the conversion and the fight back had begun.
Then, in a cruel blow, Paul Spencer twisted awkwardly in the tackle and had to be stretchered off the field immediately with a suspected broken leg. Initial scans ruled out the possibility of a break but it is unlikely he will play again this season.
Saints' next try came from a stolen line out, with the backs quick to make use of the gifted possession. The ball found its way to John Paxton who burst through the defensive line and scored next to the posts giving Adam Clark an easy shot at goal to level the scores.
There was still time for Queens to catch St Ives on the break before the interval, crossing in the corner, though Adam Clark scored a late penalty to make it 19-17 at half time.
Saints kicked up the hill in a messy second half but managed to snatch the lead through a Marc Sands try and the game was on.
However, inside the final 10 minutes the visitors created space out wide and notched the vital points, holding on for the 26-22 victory.
St Ives captain Ross Thompson said: "We lost the game in the first 10 minutes. We played the better rugby for the remainder of the game but we can't afford to lose 14 points so early on.
"The injury to Paul is a killer blow and we all hope that he will recover quickly and return to action in the near future."
* Huntingdon Stags went down to a 27-3 defeat at Wellingborough. Elliot Baldwin kicked the only points for Stags, while the home side ran in four tries. Huntingdon are home to Northampton Casuals on Saturday, kick off 3pm.
* St Neots lost out in an important top of the table fixture at Deepings, 17-10. Saints will now have to hope Deepings slip up if they are to clinch promotion from Midlands 6 East (South). Saints are home to Aylestonians on Saturday.