St Ives captain Ollie Bartlett wants their stunning season to come complete with a century.
The brilliant Bulls clinched the Midlands Division Three East (South) title with three matches to spare last Saturday after overcoming early difficulty to brush aside Biggleswade 33-23 at Somersham Road.
A first-ever title at this level completes an honours double for Phil Brown’s men, arriving less than a month after their historic Midlands Senior Vase triumph.
But that doesn’t mean the Bulls will be downing tools for the remainder of the campaign with Bartlett determined to ensure a final flourish carries their current tally of 85 points into three figures.
“Conceding 10 points in the first five minutes certainly wasn’t the best start, but we found another gear in the second half,” said Bartlett. “It’s a credit to the lads that they were be to come back and win the game in the way they did.
“Being crowned champions is a fantastic achievement and I’m very proud to captain this side. Winning the title and the Midlands Senior Vase has truly exceeded all our expectations.
“In my opinion the success is down to the coaching we’ve had and the commitment of the players.
“We’re not just going to roll over now we are champions. We win to win our final three games and finish a great season on a high. Our goal now is to get to 100 points.”
St Ives will have to perform better than they did early on against Biggleswade if they are to reach a ton.
The visitors followed up a penalty with an early try to take command, but St Ives were stung in action as Mickey Drake completed a length-of-the-field move to touch down before Paul Ashbridge added the extras.
But it proved to be brief respite as another Biggleswade penalty was followed by another converted try with the Bedfordshire men easing into a useful lead which was cut when Bartlett raced in following a turnover. Ashbridge again obliged with the conversion to leave the table-toppers six points in arrears at the break.
The gap between the sides quickly grew again in the second period as Biggleswade made the most of another penalty, but that proved to be the final addition to the visitors’ tally.
The rest of the contest was all about St Ives as they performed like champions to hit the front. Bartlett went over for a second time before Pete Fahey blasted down the touchline to score – both efforts followed by successful Ashbridge conversions, particularly classy in the case of the latter.
And the result was fittingly put beyond doubt by captain Bartlett when he gobbled up a loose ball to complete his hat-trick after Tom Watts charged down a kick.
St Ives go to Daventry this weekend.
St Ives 2nds roared to what is thought to be a record-breaking success last Saturday as they won 141-0 at Cantabs in the Cambs Junior Cup.
Sam Tuckwood led the way with five tries with Tim Lumley-Good, Tom Riches and Joseph Cox all claimed hat-tricks. Pat Grant, Jack Trolove and Callum Long all touched down twice with Jordan Edwards, Bradley Robinson and Owen Miller also going over.