Contrasting fortunes for St Ives and St Neots as league rugby makes its return
- Credit: PAUL COX
League rugby returned for St Ives but it was not a pleasant one as they were punished mercilessly by Market Bosworth for a slow start.
The trip to Leicestershire has been eagerly-awaited after 18 months of absence for competitive fixtures but ended in a 38-19 defeat.
The hosts quickly gained possession after a promising opening few minutes for the visitors and they took full advantage of the ball, scoring four tries before the break, two of them converted.
The first saw Bosworth dance round the outside of the Ives defence while the next two were down to the visitors being caught napping.
Shaken out of their reverie, Ives began to play with much purpose and finally getting the ball wide allowed Jack Blackley to walk into the corner.
But there was still time for a fourth try, finding a gap in the defensive line for a 24-5 lead at the break.
The Bulls did at least show some fight in the early stages of the second half as they hauled themselves back into the contest.
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After a series of punishing drives by the forwards, Shaun Mundy was on hand to crash over the line and shortly after a line-out was won by Ollie Bartlett and with Bosworth standing off, he trundled over to score.
A fine conversion by Alex Henly brought Ives back to within five points but any hopes of a dramatic comeback were thwarted late on by a couple of scores while a fourth try and bonus point also failed to materialise for Ives, with hands letting them down at crucial moments.
Northampton Casuals provide the next opposition on Saturday.
In complete contrast was St Neots who enjoyed a wonderful opening game, winning 52-20 against Deepings.
The only downside to the day was the four late tries conceded with gave their opponents a bonus point. Apart from that though this was everything they could have dreamed of.
It started at a frantic pace with the first score coming on 10 minutes, Jack Webb getting the try and Adam Porter the conversion.
That was quickly followed straight from the kick-off by try number two, Ross Hubbard breaking two tackles before finding skipper Aiden Jordan on the blind side.
Porter converted that one as well and made it three from three after Josh Lofty and James Larman combined for the latter to score.
But still St Neots pressed on with Lofty getting the fourth try and Webb his second and his team's fifth. Only at this one did Porter miss with his conversion.
But he made no mistake as Webb completed his hat-trick, sending St Neots into half-time with a 40-0 lead.
Jordan and Ant Holt added more scores after the break, Porter converting one more, but that's when they took the foot off the gas and allowed Deepings back in.
It was a minor gripe on a great day though.
Kempston head to New Street next.