Ruthless St. Ives turn on the style
Plucky Aylestone are put to the sword
The long trip to Leicestershire left Ives looking lethargic in the run up to the kick off. Having shaken off the journey after the first quarter of the match, the Bulls turned on the style and racked up another high scoring win.
Starting against the elements, Ives scored with the first play of the game. The ball was swept left and right, stretching Jimmies’ defence until Paul Ashbridge
burst through to open the scoring.
The lowly league position of the hosts belies their spirit. They attacked ferociously for the next ten minutes, but Ives defence was not breached. Unfortunately, the hosts were held at bay on occasion illegally. The home 10 slotted a penalty from in front.
Still not firing on all cylinders, Ives found themselves with a lineout just inside the home 22. A well set maul drove in to the heart of the defence. Duncan Williams
peeled off the back and crashed over.
Again, Aylestone came back. For ten minutes it would have been difficult for unconnected observers to know at which end of the table each team sat. As the second quarter started, Ives clicked into gear as realisation dawned that Jimmies would not go down without a fight. Aylestone were rewarded with another penalty.
Order returned to the visitors’ play and Ives mounted good attacks allied to thumping defence. Ollie Bartlett
’s treatment of Jimmies’ scrum half was particularly eye catching and undoubtedly eye watering for the recipient.
From another lineout, Jim Robinson
carried to the gain line, then releasing Ollie Raine
standing at inside centre (he always ends up there), who pierced the defence to score. Shortly afterwards, the unlucky Raine left the fray with what turned out to be a broken finger. We wish him well for a speedy return.
The next score came from a great turnover by Alex Henly. Defending their own line, Aylestone ran the ball, were caught and robbed of possession. Josh Dear
snaffled the ball and, tucking it up his shirt to prevent theft by the supporting Williams, drove over the line.
As the half closed, Josh Meadows
switching with aplomb from hooker to number 8, picked from the base of a scrum close in and scored.
Half time 6-31.
The second half saw Ives play some delightful rugby. Almost from the kick off, Ives were deep in Aylestone territory. Slick hands by wannabe backs Dear and David Stone
put Albiee Tayedzerwa in space. Dancing feet saw him beat the last defence and sprint to the posts.
Shortly after, Ashbridge made another telling break, feeding the supporting Tayedzerwa for his second.
The spirit of Aylestone did not die and there followed a period of good play by the home side. But, Ives were determined not to allow their opponents a try.
A home lineout on the half way line went straight to Ollie Bartlett
. He simply tucked the ball under his arm and sprinted through the flailing defence for a fine individual try.
In the final quarter, the game broke up affording the Bulls’ backs the chance to run from anywhere.
An attempted clearance by the home full back was blocked by the onrushing Tayedzerwa. Will Nelson
picked up the stray ball and showed a clean pair of heels to score.
From the kick off, another Nelson break was supported by Bartlett. He reached the opposite 22 before passing to Tayedzerwa who skipped down the touchline leaving two defenders in his wake to score in the corner for his hat trick.
Another Bartlett break had Ashbridge in support. He generously gifted George Peacock
the score under the posts.
The last score came from some cute thinking between Tayedzerwa and Ashbridge. Sprinting to fetch a touch kick, a quickly taken line out was sent to the onrushing Ashbridge; he drew the last man and put Peacock in for his second.
The last five minutes of the game were spent camped on the Ives line. The visitors were fulsome in their praise of the home side’s resilience and effort. But, that did not lead to any generosity on the scoreboard as the whistle went with Aylestone tryless.
Dear was delighted with his team’s efforts. “We’ve done well today. We now turn our attention to Biggleswade next week. That will be a tough encounter, but we’ll enjoy preparing to welcome them to the chicken shack.”