St Ives Roosters’ big house-warming party didn’t go to plan last Saturday.

The local side endured an unhappy start to life at their new St Ives Rugby Club base when suffering a first East Premier Division defeat of the campaign.

Roosters were beaten 36-22 by North Herts Crusaders with the vast majority of the damage being done in the opening half.

They lost player-coach Paul Ashbridge to a late shoulder charge after only 10 minutes and were powerless to prevent the visiting side racking up 24 unanswered points before the break.

But a half-time rallying call from captain Josh Meadows sparked a positive response as Roosters quickly made an impact.

James Snart forced his way over the line for their first try and it was soon followed by another score from skipper Meadows.

The wind was taken out of Roosters' sails as Crusaders responded with two more tries of their own, but the home side continued to threaten.

They were rewarded with two further tries in the closing quarter-of-an-hour as they restored some pride.

Mickey Drake danced round a series of defenders to touch down before George Peacock capped an impressive debut by racing onto a high kick and going over.

"Even though we didn't get the win, there are a lot of positives to take from the performance," stressed Meadows.

"Our young lads played out of their skins and that's always good to see when things aren't going your way.

"We made basic errors in the first half and they were punished by a clinical North Herts side.

"I don't think we were miles apart in the end but it was simply a case of us giving ourselves too much to do."

Roosters will look to return to winning ways when they travel to Bedford Tigers this Saturday.