Victory in the gloom for St Ives while St Neots enjoy walkover against Kempston

Ollie Bartlett heads for the line and try number seven for St Ives against Northampton Casuals.

Ollie Bartlett heads for the line and try number seven for St Ives against Northampton Casuals. - Credit: PAUL COX

Week two of the new season brought two victories for the rugby clubs of St Ives and St Neots - although they couldn't have been more different if you tried.

Ives had started the year with a 38-19 loss at Market Bosworth but they

Brad Gooding sprints up the wing for St Ives against Northampton Casuals.

Brad Gooding sprints up the wing for St Ives against Northampton Casuals. - Credit: PAUL COX

responded superbly in the gloom at the Chicken Shed, beating Northampton Casuals 50-0

The ran in eight tries in atrocious conditions, the first of them from debutant Brad Gooding very early on.

They followed it up just a few minutes later with a Paul Ashbridge score and the opening onslaught continued as Mike Brennan got in on the act.

His second brought Ives the bonus-point and by half-time it was 38-0 by the break with Ashbridge and Rick Peters adding to the tries and Alex Henly kicking four conversions.

Duncan Williams, Michael Sykes and Samuel Marjason-Stamp hold the St Ives defensive line.

Duncan Williams, Michael Sykes and Samuel Marjason-Stamp hold the St Ives defensive line. - Credit: PAUL COX

And with the Ives pack dominant and supplying the backs with excellent possession all game, they ran from deep with Ollie Bartlett and Joe Cox added tries before the hour mark.

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The heavens really opened for the remainder of the game and despite the valiant efforts of both sides there was to be no further scores.

The second team also hit a half-century, winning 53-5 after a one-sided second half at Newmarket.

St Neots meanwhile backed up their opening victory against Deepings without even playing, handed a home walkover after Kempston were unable to raise a side.

There was still action to be had at the club though with a meal for ex-players from the 80s and 90s entertaining those in the bar, and the firsts taking on Old Northamptonians out on the field.

They fell to a 29-10 defeat in the friendly, going behind on 10 minutes, but they stuck to their structure and managed to control huge swathes of the game by making the wet and windy day a game for the forwards.

Rhod Howcroft bolstered the pack and there were tries for Jordan Rook and Rory Dingemans, although the pleasing aspects of those moments was overshadowed by an unfortunate injury to skipper Aiden Jordan.

The second-team went down 17-7 in a battling match at March Bears.

The hosts got the first converted try but stubborn resistance saw Pete Arnold level the scores under the posts.

Two further tires, both unconverted, gave March the win but it was still a good outing for the Heathens, Will Burke claiming their man of the match prize.

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