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1st XV - Match centre

St Ives (Midlands)
M Drake
N Gusto, N Gusto
Sat 17 Feb 14:15 - Midlands Division - Midlands 3 East (South) Full time

Ives unbeaten run ended by impressive Queens

Bulls lack of match practice evident as they slip to defeat

The final score belies a fairly open encounter in sunny, dry conditions at Queens. Both sides had opportunities aplenty, but could not convert them.
Bulls started at an absolute gallop. Receiving the ball from the kick off close to their own line, they spent the first minutes demonstrating great continuity. Arriving well into the Queens half, a soft penalty was conceded allowing Queens to clear. The host kicked deep into the Ives half.
From the lineout, the eager Ives defence was caught offside, allowing Queens a simple kick to take the lead.
Ives continued to play the ball wide on the very narrow pitch. Mickey Drake found himself out left with two defenders in front. He grubbered the ball through, regathered and drove through the last defence to score a fine individual try. Taking a knock in the process, he left the field for ten minutes for treatment from the post-maternity returning Quintillian Johannes.
Queens are a much improved side since their drubbing at Somersham Road, but Ives were still able to find gaps. Unfortunately, rustiness from lack of recent matches led to some miscommunications and odd decision making in the three quarters and a couple of decent half chances were lost.
Queens gained confidence from not conceding and kicked well downfield. Again, Ives midfield was offside offering a simple penalty chance which gave the home side the narrowest of leads.
With their tails up, the home backs began to run hard at the Ives defence. A number of missed tackles put the Bulls under extreme pressure, but the scramble defence was enough to keep Queens at bay. Ollie Bartlett demonstrated his turnover prowess to wrest possession back for the visitors.
Ives swept upfield with a thrilling passage of play. Duncan Williams charged through a gap and kept the ball available. The travelling support was frustrated to witness a clear overlap go begging as individuals attempted to crash through the last defence. Queens’ line held firm and half time arrived 6-5.
Now playing with the elements, Ives were immediately on the attack. Good forward work was undone when another overlap was spurned, the home defender not taking the dummy and turning over possession.
Ives were awarded a penalty just outside the 10-metre line. Given the balance of the game and the pitch only 90 metres long, they opted for the posts. But, the chance fell just short.
Keeping up the pressure, Ives were awarded another penalty on the 22, but inexplicably tapped and went. The choice was again undone as the quick transference halted when yet another overlap went begging.
With the game nearing its final quarter, Queens were gaining good ground punching holes in the Bulls midfield and retaining possession well. There followed an intense period where the hosts were camped on the Ives’ try line. Excellent defending, very notably by Bartlett, Jack Blackley, the returning-from-injury Matt Wood, Tommy Newman and Josh Dear kept them out.
Three times Queens were over the line. Thrice held up. Three penalties were kicked to the corner, each time Ives defended and drove the opposition back.
With minutes to go, Ives broke the siege. One final sally into the Queens half saw Alex Henly gather a kick over by the Queens 9 and sprint past the first defence. The next defender gambled on the pass and intercepted what may have put a Bull through. It was the final act of the game as the ball was knocked on.
Ives tremendous unbeaten run has come to an end, but not the ambition. “We reset our targets looking forward not back,” opined coach Max Dominy. John Naylor was quick to add, “We had enough chances today, and that bodes well as the fixes are easy in training. We’ll work hard to be ready for the visit of Rushden in two weeks.”

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – December: Old Hales RFC

Ollie Bartlett

Player of the Match

Ollie Bartlett

Key moments

Penalty N. Gusto kicks a penalty for Queens
Try Mickey Drake scores for St Ives (Midlands)
Penalty N. Gusto kicks a penalty for Queens


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80:00 Player of the Match
Ollie Bartlett is awarded player of the match for St Ives (Midlands)
64:00 Sub On
Ross Thompson is substituted on for St Ives (Midlands)
47:00 Missed Penalty
Paul Ashbridge misses a penalty for St Ives (Midlands)
End of period 1
27:00 Penalty 6 - 5
N. Gusto kicks a penalty for Queens
11:00 Missed Conversion
Paul Ashbridge misses a conversion for St Ives (Midlands)
11:00 Sub On
Ben Fleming is substituted on for St Ives (Midlands)
10:00 Try 3 - 5
Mickey Drake scores for St Ives (Midlands)
7:00 Yellow Card
N. Gusto is yellow carded for Queens
3:00 Penalty 3 - 0
N. Gusto kicks a penalty for Queens
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Queens
  • St Ives (Midlands)
  • 0
  • N. Gusto Penalty 3:00'
  • N. Gusto Yellow Card 7:00'
  • Mickey Drake Try 10:00'
  • Ben Fleming Sub On 11:00'
  • N. Gusto Penalty 27:00'
  • Ross Thompson Sub On 64:00'

Team selection

Blackley, Jack Blackley, Jack
Tayedzerwa, Albert Tayedzerwa, Albert
Fahey, Peter Fahey, Peter
Ashbridge, Paul Ashbridge, Paul
Henly, Alex Henly, Alex
Drake, Mickey Drake, Mickey
Naylor, John Naylor, John
Meadows, Josh Meadows, Josh
Bartlett, Ollie Bartlett, Ollie
Cornwell, Stuart Cornwell, Stuart
Williams, Duncan Williams, Duncan
Wood, Matt Wood, Matt
Dear, Josh Dear, Josh
Scott, Adam Scott, Adam
Newman, Tommy Newman, Tommy
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League round up

Other Midlands 3 East (South) results

Northampton Casuals


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. St Ives (Midlands) 21 80
2. Leicester Forest 21 48
3. Vipers 11 32
4. Queens 22 28
5. Daventry 10 25
6. Biggleswade 9 18
7. Stockwood Park 7 16


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