Skipper Josh Dear reckons St Ives’ disappointment at seeing their winning start to the Midlands Division Three East (South) season come to an end highlights the club’s progress.

Alex Henly in the thick of the action for St Ives during their draw against Leicester Forest.	            Picture: ROB MORRISAlex Henly in the thick of the action for St Ives during their draw against Leicester Forest. Picture: ROB MORRIS

The Bulls began the campaign with back-to-back triumphs before being held to a 23-23 deadlock by Leicester Forest in the first-ever clash between the two sides last Saturday.

It was a ding-dong duel at Somersham Road as St Ives edged into a narrow advantage at the break only to be pegged back in the second half when the teams exchanged late tries.

Dear admitted: “A third successive win wasn’t to be, but we can look at all other teams in this division knowing that we are a match for them.

“The fact we’re so disappointed with a draw is an indication of the high standards we’ve set ourselves.”

St Ives coach Phil Brown.St Ives coach Phil Brown.

Paul Ashbridge provided the vast majority of St Ives’ points and he broke the deadlock with a penalty before converting his own try to ease his side into a 10-point lead.

The visitors responded with a pair of penalties before claiming a try on the overlap after St Ives had seen Ollie Bartlett yellow-carded.

Ashbridge edged the Bulls back ahead with a penalty on the stroke of the interval, but they found themselves in arrears again in the second period after a speculative kick bounced kindly for the visitors to grab their second try.

That was the way it stayed until an action-packed final 10 minutes which began with the trusty boot of Ashbridge levelling the scores.

From the resulting kick-off, St Ives hit the front as Luke Slade was on hand to grab a try after Alex Henly had burst past a couple of tackles close to the touchline.

Ashbridge did the honours with the conversion to take his personal tally to 18 points and leave his side seven points to the good, but their lead was wiped out by a converted Leicester Forest try in the dying moments.

St Ives go to Long Buckby tomorrow.