AN OFF-colour St Ives Roosters squad were soundly beaten by conference champions Northampton Demons

Rugby League

Conference East Division

Northampton Demons 58

St Ives Roosters 10

AN OFF-colour St Ives Roosters squad were soundly beaten by conference champions Northampton Demons after another slow start.

After running Bedford Tigers so close last week, the Roosters had high hopes of springing an upset on the Demons, but found their weaknesses exposed by clinical home finishing.

Coach Ian Hill said he had few complaints about the result. "We just had too many players having off-days.

"We knew we all needed to be at 100 per cent to get a result, but we made too many sloppy mistakes, and Northampton were absolutely ruthless in making the most of them.

"We were positive going into the game, as we nearly beat Bedford last week, and they had beaten Northampton earlier in the season, but we weren't at our best."

The Roosters started poorly, missing tackles in the middle of the pitch, and were soon behind when the Northampton full-back collected a high kick and broke through to score under the posts for a try which was converted.

From a penalty near the Roosters line, the Northampton scrum-half dummied to evade the defence and touched down another simple try.

Another two converted tries boosted the Northampton lead to 22-0 after 17 minutes.

The Roosters got a foothold in the game when Paul Ashbridge got the first points on the board.

Moving the ball wide stretched the home defence, and Ashbridge powered through.

They had chances to reduce the deficit further before the break, but found several attacks held up on the line. Strong runs by the Peel brothers Adam and Sam nearly brought points but the Northampton defence was resolute and withstood the pressure.

The Demons added two more tries before the interval when two defensive mistakes allowed them to effectively wrap up the match at 34-4.

Dan Fry scored the Roosters' second try straight after the restart, creating an overlap on the left and sidestepping a defender to cross for a try converted by Adam Peel.

A further pair of Northampton tries followed, though Roosters were boosted when a Northampton player was sinbinned for 10 minutes. Stephen Judge and the Peel brothers all went close, but could not touch down.

With the match all but over, the Demons rounded off the scoring with two more converted tries at the death.

n Roosters host St Albans A at their Somersham Road ground on Saturday at 2.30pm.