St Ives returned to winning ways last Saturday with a success that was more dominant than the final scoreline might suggest.

Duncan Williams grabbed St Ives' second try at Northampton BBOB.Duncan Williams grabbed St Ives' second try at Northampton BBOB.

The Bulls ran out 26-5 victors at Northampton BBOB to maintain their fine third position in Midlands Division Three East (South).

St Ives took a stranglehold on the game in the opening period when scoring three unanswered tries while shutting out their hosts.

Paul Ashbridge scored and converted the opener, finding a gap to go over out wide before making a difficult kick look easy to add the extras.

Duncan Williams then had the simple task of touching down after a driving maul powered to within centimetres of the BBOB line.

Ashbridge again did the honours with the conversion on that occasion and it was the same story after Alex Henly breezed in to score.

St Ives also failed to capitalise on plenty of other promising positions and the second half followed a similar theme.

BBOB claimed their only points with a try in the corner as an offside call against St Ives was punished, but they never looked like mounting a serious comeback.

In fact it was the Bulls who upped the ante again in the closing stages when David Sharp went over for a try which secured a bonus point.

But it wasn't an altogether pleasing afternoon for coach Phil Brown.

"We were dominant for long periods of the game," said Brown. "But somehow we managed to allow BBOB to stay in it.

"Our individual decision-making at key moments is improving, but it is something we still need to be even sharper in the coming games."

Second-bottom St Neots were thumped 63-0 at second-placed Long Buckby.

Both local teams host Northampton opposition this Saturday with St Ives taking on Casuals in a third-versus-fourth clash at Somersham Road, and St Neots hosting BBOB at The Common.