St Ives double spells trouble for St Neots in the race to dodge the drop

Action from St Ives' derby triumph at St Neots. Picture: HELEN DRAKE

Action from St Ives' derby triumph at St Neots. Picture: HELEN DRAKE - Credit: Archant

It’s advantage St Ives in the big battle for survival.

The Bulls climbed off the bottom of the Midlands Division Three East (South) table by completing a derby double over St Neots last Saturday.

Phil Brown’s men stormed to a 27-17 victory at The Common to leapfrog their victims, who now bring up the rear in the standings, by virtue of boasting a superior points difference.

The St Ives engine room earned the opening try as Matt Wood touched down following a 15-metre drive from a turned-over scrum.

And they doubled their advantage in a similar situation as referee Andrew Beckett awarded a penalty try after another St Neots scrum had been blown away against the head.

The excellent Max Dominy added the conversion on a day when he struck both posts and the crossbar with other kicks.

St Neots responded with a converted try of their own from Cameron Howson as the sides were separated by five points at the break.

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The gap eventually doubled in the second period but not before St Neots had briefly clawed their way level as teenage scrum-half Jack Webb rounded off a move full of fine handling.

St Ives were soon back on top though as Timo Battut crossed for his first try for the club straight from the kick-off before Ollie Bartlett earned a bonus point after the Bulls’ pack had again displayed its power.

Emerging talent Webb did grab his second try for the hosts to reduce their arrears before Mickey Drake made a fine break to go over for a final St Ives score.

But coach Brown was quick to insist this success will mean nothing if they fail to perform in upcoming games.

He said: “The result was important and in effect we are now 0-0 with St Neots for the rest of the season.

“We still have a lot of work to do and that starts with increased effort in training every Tuesday and Thursday.

“The result last Saturday will mean nothing if we don’t kick on from here.”

Both sides are at home in their next fixtures son Saturday March 5 as they bid to avoid what is likely to be one relegation place.

St Ives entertain S & L Corby while St Neots host Stockwood Park, both 2.15pm.