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1st XV - Match centre

St. Ives RFC
Long Eaton
P Ashbridge, O Raine (2)
Full time
N Gusto
P Ashbridge (2)
N Gusto
Sat 17 Mar 12:30 - Cup

It never Raines…….

Dominant pack lays foundation for historic triumph

A large crowd braved the bitter easterly wind as Somersham Road hosted the Midlands final of the RFU Senior Vase. Conditions were heavy underfoot for spectators and players alike, but the onlookers were treated to a finely contested match between the leaders of their respective divisions.
The Bulls began the game at a gallop. Receiving the kick off deep in their own half, great supporting play saw them sweep upfield and almost score in the first minutes. A penalty attempt into the teeth of the gale was blown back to the Ives and pressure mounted. Long Eaton defended stoutly and eventually broke the siege after ten minutes with a long drop out.
With their first decent possession, the visitors attacked the Ives line, but the hosts were in no mood to let them through. An offside at the breakdown, however, gave Long Eaton a simple penalty in front of the posts. Even so, it took a deflection off the upright to convert.
Ives were stung into action and began to play with improved ball retention and continuity. Long Eaton’s defence was finally stretched enough for Paul Ashbridge to barge his way through the midfield and score under the posts. He converted his own try.
The second quarter of the match was dominated by the Ives pack. They began to bully their opponents in the set piece. It was only due to the extraordinary efforts of Long Eaton in scrambling defence that prevented a score. Ashbridge and skipper Ollie Bartlett were both held up over the line.
A series of 5 metre scrums saw Ives driving forward, but they could not land the ball over the try line. With half time approaching, a penalty was awarded to Long Eaton for Ives being offside, allowing them to clear their lines with relief.
At the break, with the score just 7-3, Ives were still in confident mood. The plan for the second half was more of the same, and to keep patient with the ball in hand.
Long Eaton started the half well, clearly deciding to move the ball through the hands more. As so often this season, Ives defence was firm. After multiple phases, the visitors finally coughed up possession and Ives drove them back to their own 22.
It was again Long Eaton’s turn to defend. They kept Ives out for some minutes.
Once again, Ashbridge surged through the defence and was held up over the line. The reprieve was short lived for Long Eaton. A superb scrum by the Bulls marched them back over their line and Ollie Raine completed the formalities by dotting down. Ashbridge converted.
Long Eaton once more attacked. Moving the ball well between forwards and backs, they made their way into the home 22. A penalty was kicked to touch. A catch and drive was superbly executed with speed and precision. For once, Ives were taken unawares and found themselves back pedalling over their own line as Long Eaton finally got reward for their efforts. The try was unconverted.
With the score now 14-8, there was tension on the sidelines, but not on the pitch. The Ives pack took the game by the scruff of the neck and tightened the Bulls grip on the game. A punishing series of drives saw them to within 5 metres of the line, only for the ball to be lost forward.
No matter. With a devastating surge, Ives drove Long Eaton off their own ball, marched them back and Raine completed his double.
Long Eaton tried valiantly to reduce the arrears, but could find no way out of their half due to the suffocating defence of the Ives across the park.
As the final whistle went the Ives supporters were in raptures, celebrating the players’ achievement in bringing the Midlands Senior Vase to the Chicken Shack.
Skipper Bartlett was jubilant. “How good does that feel? It’s a just reward for all the hard work the players have put in so far this season. Our aim has always been promotion, but this is something very special for the players and the Club.”
The trip to Wath Upon Dearne for the national semi-final in two weeks is eagerly awaited.

Which club gets your vote? Voting opens in Jewson Building Better Communities

Josh Dear

Player of the Match

Josh Dear

Key moments

Penalty N. Gusto kicks a penalty for Long Eaton
Try Paul Ashbridge scores for St. Ives RFC
Conversion Paul Ashbridge kicks a conversion for St. Ives RFC
Try Ollie Raine scores for St. Ives RFC
Conversion Paul Ashbridge kicks a conversion for St. Ives RFC
Try N. Gusto scores for Long Eaton
Try Ollie Raine scores for St. Ives RFC


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80:00 Player of the Match
Josh Dear is awarded player of the match for St. Ives RFC
78:00 Sub On
Adam Scott is substituted on for St. Ives RFC
70:00 Sub On
Jim Robinson is substituted on for St. Ives RFC
69:00 Missed Conversion
Paul Ashbridge misses a conversion for St. Ives RFC
68:00 Try 19 - 8
Ollie Raine scores for St. Ives RFC
65:00 Sub On
David Sharp is substituted on for St. Ives RFC
63:00 Missed Conversion
N. Gusto misses a conversion for Long Eaton
62:00 Try 14 - 8
N. Gusto scores for Long Eaton
60:00 Sub On
Ross Thompson is substituted on for St. Ives RFC
50:00 Sub On
Alex Henley is substituted on for St. Ives RFC
49:00 Conversion 14 - 3
Paul Ashbridge kicks a conversion for St. Ives RFC
48:00 Try 12 - 3
Ollie Raine scores for St. Ives RFC
40:00 Sub On
Stuart Cornwell is substituted on for St. Ives RFC
End of period 1
17:00 Conversion 7 - 3
Paul Ashbridge kicks a conversion for St. Ives RFC
16:00 Try 5 - 3
Paul Ashbridge scores for St. Ives RFC
11:00 Penalty 0 - 3
N. Gusto kicks a penalty for Long Eaton
2:00 Missed Penalty
Paul Ashbridge misses a penalty for St. Ives RFC
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • St. Ives RFC
  • Long Eaton
  • 0
  • N. Gusto Penalty 11:00'
  • Paul Ashbridge Try 16:00'
  • Paul Ashbridge Conversion 17:00'
  • Stuart Cornwell Sub On 40:00'
  • Ollie Raine Try 48:00'
  • Paul Ashbridge Conversion 49:00'
  • Alex Henley Sub On 50:00'
  • Ross Thompson Sub On 60:00'
  • N. Gusto Try 62:00'
  • David Sharp Sub On 65:00'
  • Ollie Raine Try 68:00'
  • Jim Robinson Sub On 70:00'
  • Adam Scott Sub On 78:00'

Team selection

Blackley, Jack Blackley, Jack
Tayedzerwa, Albert Tayedzerwa, Albert
Fahey, Peter Fahey, Peter
Ashbridge, Paul Ashbridge, Paul
Fleming, Ben Fleming, Ben
Drake, Mickey Drake, Mickey
Naylor, John Naylor, John
Raine, Ollie Raine, Ollie
Bartlett, Ollie Bartlett, Ollie
Meadows, Josh Meadows, Josh
Williams, Duncan Williams, Duncan
Wood, Matt Wood, Matt
Dear, Josh Dear, Josh
Newman, Tommy Newman, Tommy
Hyde, Dan Hyde, Dan
Long Eaton
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