St Ives end up well beaten after late Bugbrooke blitz

Bradley Robinson plunges over to score for St Ives against Bugbrooke

Bradley Robinson plunges over to score for St Ives against Bugbrooke - Credit: Paul Cox

St Ives crashed to a 48-21 defeat at Bugbrooke but the final scoreline did not reflect the closeness of the game.

They could not have wished for a better start as Ben Fleming collected a return kick and fed Cullan Smy, who raced to the posts for a try, converted by Will Mandley.

Bugbrooke were stunned into action and replied with an unconverted try, with play swinging from end to end for the next 20 minutes without addition to the scoreline.

Luke Basham produced some excellent tackles for Ives, but Bugbrooke took the lead when their full-back raced through.

A well-worked lineout move saw the hosts over in the corner, with the try converted for a 17-7 lead at the interval.

The gap widened with a penalty after the restart and Ives saw Tom Woodrow held up over the line.

But the Bulls showed patience and accuracy with their driving play and Bradley Robinson plunged over the line, with Mandley converting, to cut the gap to six points.

Alex Henly races through a gap for St Ives against Bugbrooke

Alex Henly races through a gap for St Ives against Bugbrooke - Credit: Paul Cox

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As the game approached its final quarter, it was still anybody's, but a poor turnover gave Bugbrooke a break out wide and a kind bounce helped their winger trot his way over.

Basham was prominent with ball in hand, while Alex Henly made breaks and work throughout the pack put the visitors under pressure.

Luke Basham carries hard for St Ives against Bugbrooke

Luke Basham carries hard for St Ives against Bugbrooke - Credit: Paul Cox

Bugbrooke's turnover skills were rewarded with a series of penalties and, with 10 minutes left and Ives still believing in a comeback, a hat-trick of home tries put the result beyond doubt.

After going over from a lineout, Bugbrooke produced a well-executed backs move for their winger to score and a swift run from the restart led to a third converted try in the space of a few minutes.

Ives claimed another try in the closing stages as Josh Dear finished off another wave of attacks, with Henly converting, but it was only a consolation as they were left empty-handed.

Ives look set to remain in East Mids Two South, though, after Oakham were deducted five points for a second time, which leaves them 15 behind with three matches remaining.