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1st XV - Match centre

St Ives (Midlands)
O Raine (2)
J Robinson (2)
J Robinson (2)
N Gusto
Sat 10 Mar 15:00 - Midlands Division - Midlands 3 East (South) Full time

Bulls get season back on track with tremendous performance

Ollie Raines on Vipers parade

Given the inclement weather of recent days and the Clubhouse pitch waterlogged, Ives significant investment in drainage, supported by Sport England, garnered an initial reward with the first senior match on the surface.
Having had three weeks without a game, this was as complete a performance by the Bulls as could have been hoped for. Vipers had lost to Ives twice already this season in close fought games, and came to the Chicken Shack with intent. But, they had no answer in particular to the powerful defensive effort of the hosts.
Ives played into the breeze in the first half and were initially pinned in their own half. Vipers pounded the blue line, but as was the case all afternoon, it held firm.
Paul Ashbridge playing at 10 kept the ball in hand and broke the first line of defence. John Naylor was in close support and released Ollie Raine. Raine swept upfield and fed his skipper Ollie Bartlett. Despite the move breaking down just short of the line, Ives had served notice.
Vipers attempted clearance was fielded by Ben Fleming who, along with Jack Blackley and Albiee Tayedzerwa, had a fine game at the back. He skipped upfield, feeding Blackley whose dancing feet took him past more defenders. Once again Ashbridge and Raine were in close support and drove Vipers back to the line. Pounding the defence, Raine eventually recovered the ball and dotted down by the post, the try duly converted by veteran Jim Robinson.
Vipers chose to tighten the game up and use their big pack in an attempt to bully Ives into submission. Their mauling game is well practiced. So, is Ives defence. Even a couple of close in lineouts for Vipers following penalties saw the same results – maul formed, effort expended, standstill due to strong defence, chance lost. Vipers kicked one penalty during the siege.
The Ives pack collectively played superbly all game. As the half was drawing to a close, Ives had another superb upfield surge with the ball being offloaded between front, second and back rowers alike as Joshes Meadows and Dear linked with Duncan Williams, Tommy Newman, Matt Wood and Gabriel Edwards. Vipers managed to thwart the attack and the half closed 7-3.
The second half was a beautiful exhibition of game management. Whereas his opposite number’s radar had been a little awry, Ashbridge’s kicking from hand was rapier-like. Vipers continued to press through their forwards, but the massive Ives defensive effort continually forced turnovers, after which Ashbridge would pin Vipers back in their own 22 with raking touch finders.
Ives lineout was also functioning like a well-oiled machine, both in attack and defensively, putting increasing pressure on the visitors. Their frustration became evident as they sought other means to put Ives off their stride, but the Bulls remained disciplined.
With Ives varying the attack points continuously, Vipers found themselves offside and coughed up a penalty, points taken.
With the game entering its last quarter, an Ives scrum on Vipers’ 22 was awarded. With the defence wary of the outside calls from amongst others Pete Fahey, they spread wide. Raine picked from the base and sauntered untouched in for a second converted try.
Realising that even a bonus point was now lost, Vipers threw caution to the wind and started to run the ball from anywhere. But, Ives were defending every yard of the pitch and kept their opponents at bay.
The visitors infringed with ill-discipline following a decision, the penalty was kicked and Ives were three scores ahead.
The final passages of play saw Vipers throw everything they had at Ives. Determined to keep them tryless, Ives superb defensive display was typified by Tayedzerwa who decked his opposite number just short of the line as the match drew to a close.
Skipper Bartlett was an exhausted, but very happy man. “To put on a performance like that after three weeks without a game is a credit to all the lads. We had to work really hard against this strong Vipers side and we thoroughly deserved the win.”

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC

Josh Meadows

Player of the Match

Josh Meadows

Key moments

Try Ollie Raine scores for St Ives (Midlands)
Conversion Jim Robinson kicks a conversion for St Ives (Midlands)
Penalty N. Gusto kicks a penalty for Vipers
Penalty Jim Robinson kicks a penalty for St Ives (Midlands)
Try Ollie Raine scores for St Ives (Midlands)
Conversion Jim Robinson kicks a conversion for St Ives (Midlands)
Penalty Jim Robinson kicks a penalty for St Ives (Midlands)


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80:00 Player of the Match
Josh Meadows is awarded player of the match for St Ives (Midlands)
67:00 Penalty 20 - 3
Jim Robinson kicks a penalty for St Ives (Midlands)
59:00 Conversion 17 - 3
Jim Robinson kicks a conversion for St Ives (Midlands)
58:00 Try 15 - 3
Ollie Raine scores for St Ives (Midlands)
52:00 Penalty 10 - 3
Jim Robinson kicks a penalty for St Ives (Midlands)
End of period 1
20:00 Penalty 7 - 3
N. Gusto kicks a penalty for Vipers
13:00 Conversion 7 - 0
Jim Robinson kicks a conversion for St Ives (Midlands)
12:00 Try 5 - 0
Ollie Raine scores for St Ives (Midlands)
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • St Ives (Midlands)
  • Vipers
  • 0
  • Ollie Raine Try 12:00'
  • Jim Robinson Conversion 13:00'
  • N. Gusto Penalty 20:00'
  • Jim Robinson Penalty 52:00'
  • Ollie Raine Try 58:00'
  • Jim Robinson Conversion 59:00'
  • Jim Robinson Penalty 67:00'

Team selection

Blackley, Jack Blackley, Jack
Tayedzerwa, Albert Tayedzerwa, Albert
Fahey, Peter Fahey, Peter
Robinson, Jim Robinson, Jim
Fleming, Ben Fleming, Ben
Ashbridge, Paul Ashbridge, Paul
Naylor, John Naylor, John
Raine, Ollie Raine, Ollie
Bartlett, Ollie Bartlett, Ollie
Edwards, Gabriel Edwards, Gabriel
Williams, Duncan Williams, Duncan
Wood, Matt Wood, Matt
Dear, Josh Dear, Josh
Meadows, Josh Meadows, Josh
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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