St Ives Roosters make it six out of six in Conference East
IAN Hill is a hard man to please. Despite maintaining their 100 per cent Conference East record by beating last season’s champions Bedford Tigers 54-35 on Saturday, the St Ives Roosters director of rugby told The Hunts Post: “It was a really disappointing performance from us today.”
Roosters were due to meet Milton Keynes, but the Buckinghamshire side were unable to raise a team and their neighbours stepped in to save both themselves and St Ives a wasted afternoon.
“Bedford were in exactly the same position,” said Hill. “They were due to play Bury Titans who also cancelled. A few frantic calls and emails on the Friday night meant we were able to bring this game forward from July.
“We expected to send out a really strong message to the rest of the league against Bedford as they are the league champions – but I’m not happy at all.”
Perhaps a little harsh considering it was his side’s sixth league win out of six this season.
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Adam Peel and Paul Ashbridge got the first two tries of the afternoon – but they both went unconverted in the blustery conditions. The visitors then scored two tries of their own and converted both of them for a 13-8 lead. Captain Michael Drake got the Roosters’ third try, which James Noble converted, and Ashbridge got the fourth, which was converted by Peel.
A David Sykes try meant Roosters were reasonably comfortable with a 26-13 lead at half-time and they started the second half well with Adam Peel converting a try from his brother Sam.
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It was Adam Peel who got the next three tries, but Tigers hit back in between with three of their own to make it 38-29 – a little too close for comfort for Hill.
Peel’s fourth try finally settled the home side’s nerves and Sykes completed his hat-trick with two more tries before the end.
St Ives will now meet King’s Lynn Black Knights in Norfolk in the league on Saturday, while their Conference East Plate semi-final – at home to Barking & Dagenham Bulldogs – remains dateless. It is likely to be played in the first week of July.