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1st XV - Match centre

St. Ives RFC
M Drake, T Watts (2)
N Gusto
J Robinson (2)
N Gusto
J Robinson
N Gusto
Sat 7 Oct 15:00 - Cup Full time

Dominant 8 send Sleaford packing

Scrappy game sees Bulls comfortably into third round

“Good teams find ways to win when they are off it” said coach Phil Brown immediately after the win, which was marginally more comfortable than the final score suggests. “The guys showed some moments of real cohesion in the conditions, especially up front. There were also times when a lack of composure or willingness to hold on to the ball gave Sleaford their chances, so we are well grounded before next week’s challenge.”
For the first ten minutes of the game, Ives had all the possession, but no territory. A lack of accuracy saw the ball frequently spilled or lost in contact by both sides. With the ball going to ground, the referee tried to play advantage, but neither team could string a continuous passage of play together.
From one scrum, Ives realised their distinct advantage as they shunted Sleaford off the ball. Stand-in captain Mickey Drake, skipped up the blind side, chipped the defence and regathered for a tremendous individual try in the corner. From the touchline and into the wind, veteran Jim Robinson was cruelly denied the extras by the crossbar. We heard some more about that post-match.
There then followed another frustrating period of play for the many spectators as neither side appeared willing to hold on to the ball. Having gained territory, and as opposed to the visiting breakaway forward, Ives found themselves on the wrong side of the whistle. Sleaford were relieved to clear their lines.
Ives lineout was also functioning well, with Tommy Newman, who had a fine all round game, hitting his jumpers and restarting Bulls’ attacks. From one, Pete Fahey sniffed a gap on the opposition 10 metre line. He gathered pace, stepped the first defender and almost made it to the line. The full back dragged him down, and with multiple Ives players in support popped the ball up for the simplest of tries. But, no! The ball was not gathered and the chance went begging.
No matter. With Sleaford putting in to the 5m scrum, Ives front row of Michael Wright, Newman and Josh Dear decided enough was enough. With perfect timing they drove Sleaford off their own ball. It was as much as the Bulls second row could do to stay bound and keep up with them, as Thomas Watts controlled the ball well to touch down at 8. This time, the bar didn’t get involved as Robinson sent the conversion sailing between the uprights.
Half time 12-3
The rain started to pour down as the second half commenced. Ives were determined to tighten up the loose play of the first half and started well. Forcing the visitors back into their own half, they coughed up a penalty which Robinson converted.
Sleaford made a couple of enforced changes and seemed to be re-energised. But, Ives’ defence held firm with some eye-catching hits by Duncan Williams, Gabriel Edwards and Watts in particular.
Wright made a bullocking run through the heart of the Sleaford pack to get Ives back towards midfield. The squeeze was applied and the Bulls went through the gears and crept into the opposition 22. Penalty! With the opportunity to stretch the lead to three scores with a simple kick, Drake put the onus on his pack to secure the game. With hindsight, everything worked out as the front five took the ball over the line, for Watts to dot down for his second. Robinson added the extras once again.
Sleaford were still playing with positive intent. Finally breaking through in midfield, they worked the ball well through a number of phases and pounded the Ives line. The visitors were rewarded with a try after being held up at the line for a couple of minutes. The conversion was the final score of the game.
Ives look forward to welcoming Northampton Casuals to the Chicken Shack on 14th. If the weather is kind, it promises to be an entertaining encounter between two well matched sides.

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Mickey Drake

Player of the Match

Mickey Drake

Key moments

Try Mickey Drake scores for St. Ives RFC
Penalty N. Gusto kicks a penalty for Sleaford
Try Thomas Watts scores for St. Ives RFC
Conversion Jim Robinson kicks a conversion for St. Ives RFC
Penalty Jim Robinson kicks a penalty for St. Ives RFC
Try Thomas Watts scores for St. Ives RFC
Conversion Jim Robinson kicks a conversion for St. Ives RFC
Try N. Gusto scores for Sleaford
Conversion N. Gusto kicks a conversion for Sleaford


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80:00 Player of the Match
Mickey Drake is awarded player of the match for St. Ives RFC
77:00 Conversion 22 - 10
N. Gusto kicks a conversion for Sleaford
76:00 Try 22 - 8
N. Gusto scores for Sleaford
70:00 Conversion 22 - 3
Jim Robinson kicks a conversion for St. Ives RFC
69:00 Try 20 - 3
Thomas Watts scores for St. Ives RFC
44:00 Penalty 15 - 3
Jim Robinson kicks a penalty for St. Ives RFC
40:00 Sub On
Ben Fleming is substituted on for St. Ives RFC
End of period 1
39:30 Conversion 12 - 3
Jim Robinson kicks a conversion for St. Ives RFC
39:00 Try 10 - 3
Thomas Watts scores for St. Ives RFC
32:00 Penalty 5 - 3
N. Gusto kicks a penalty for Sleaford
13:00 Missed Conversion
Jim Robinson misses a conversion for St. Ives RFC
12:00 Try 5 - 0
Mickey Drake scores for St. Ives RFC
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • St. Ives RFC
  • Sleaford
  • 0
  • Mickey Drake Try 12:00'
  • N. Gusto Penalty 32:00'
  • Thomas Watts Try 39:00'
  • Jim Robinson Conversion 39:30'
  • Ben Fleming Sub On 40:00'
  • Jim Robinson Penalty 44:00'
  • Thomas Watts Try 69:00'
  • Jim Robinson Conversion 70:00'
  • N. Gusto Try 76:00'
  • N. Gusto Conversion 77:00'

Team selection

Blackley, Jack Blackley, Jack
Tayedzerwa, Albert Tayedzerwa, Albert
Robinson, Jim Robinson, Jim
Fahey, Peter Fahey, Peter
Jones, Ollie Jones, Ollie
Drake, Mickey Drake, Mickey
Dale, Gregory Dale, Gregory
Watts, Thomas Watts, Thomas
Tuckwood, Sam Tuckwood, Sam
Edwards, Gabriel Edwards, Gabriel
Wood, Matt Wood, Matt
Williams, Duncan Williams, Duncan
Dear, Josh Dear, Josh
Newman, Tommy Newman, Tommy
Wright, Michael Wright, Michael
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