Eastern Region Play-offs St Ives Roosters 44 Greenwich Admirals 18 ANOTHER fine performance at Somersham Road set Roosters up for a massive Eastern play-off final tie at Bedford this Saturday. Centre Charles Paxton was the star of the show for the St Iv

Charles Paxton dives for the line - Pics: Steve Bennett

Eastern Region Play-offs

St Ives Roosters 44

Greenwich Admirals 18

ANOTHER fine performance at Somersham Road set Roosters up for a massive Eastern play-off final tie at Bedford this Saturday.

Centre Charles Paxton was the star of the show for the St Ives side, producing some excellent rugby to score a hat-trick of tries.

The early exchanges of this ill-tempered encounter were evenly split, with the visitors opening the scoring through Joe Ludkin in the fifth minute after Roosters conceded a penalty on the fifth tackle.

The home side hit back straight away with two quick tries thanks to some fantastic forward play by front row Ross Thompson, back from injury.

The first saw Thompson crash over out wide after the visitors knocked the ball on at their own 25-yard line while the second again came from a Thompson break on the left. This time a superb off-load allowed winger Oli Moorhouse to cross in the corner.

The tide once again turned when Greenwich centre Ismael Edwards came up on the end of a fine kick-off from stand off Jim Hardy. However, the home side's Paxton soon opened his account following hooker Andrew Dean's break on the blind side.

Persistent indiscipline and dissent towards the referee from the visitors turned what had been an entertaining tie rather sour for the next half-an-hour.

Three Greenwich players were sent to the sin bin - and one sent off - as Roosters began to dominate.

Aside from the ill-discipline, the home side gave the visitors a hard lesson in play from the backs throughout the second period.

Paxton completed his hat-trick and further tries were spread across the team as the Roosters stretched their lead.

Jack Blackley, Michael Drake, Michael Sykes and Jamie Noble all crossed the try-line - Noble's being the pick of the bunch after Jon Paxton had waltzed through the Admirals' defence.

After the game, Roosters coach Ian Hill praised his side's first half display but said that St Ives will have to be at the top of their game to defeat leaders Bedford in the Eastern play-off final.

- Bedford Tigers take on St Ives Roosters in the Eastern Region play-off final at Bedford International Athletics Stadium on Saturday. Kick-off is at 2.30pm and admission is free.