Travelling St.Ives 2nd's leave with winning bonus point
St. Ives shine in both attack and defence
St. Ives second's were welcomed with perfect playing conditions at Sawston this Saturday, with a strong squad and travelling support. St. Ives came hurtling out the blocks from the very first whistle, having lost the toss were first up to play into the sun, but Sawston couldn't take advantage of being in the shade as the St. Ives pack quickly turned the ball over, allowing Andrew Grieve to bundle over the line for the first score of the game. This left Joe Cox the opportunity to get his first points of the game, try converted.
The second score came in quick succession, with impressive strength shown from the Bulls pack as front row Graham Moffitt, Rob Olivier & Tim Lumley-Good enjoyed themselves against their opposite numbers. This lead to quick thinking from scrum half Adam Scott releasing Rob Olivier down the blind side, catching the Sawston defence by surprise and bulldozing past all defenders in his way to score. Joe Cox making no mistakes in front of the sticks.
For the next fifteen minutes, St. Ives found themselves in unfamiliar territory being penned back in their own 22, but for all their hard defensive work a number of offside decisions went against them and eventually ended with a penalty to Sawston. Wanting to get on the score board themselves, they opted to try their luck from the tee, penalty scored.
St. Ives then switched back into gear, stealing a Sawston line out by the quick reflexes of Finlay Ruddock, securing the ball before giving the evergreen Patrick Grant the opportunity to stretch his legs, beating a number of defenders to offload to the supporting Joe Cox who scored St. Ives' third try of the game, Joe converting his own try.
Rick Peters was next to cross the whitewash linking up with stand in skipper Tom Riches, fixing his last man before spinning the ball out for Rick to run the length of Sawston's half and score another impressive try for the Bulls, securing the bonus point for St. Ives. Joe Cox once again kicking a successful conversion.
St. Ives showing such great aggression in both attack and defence, was starting to take its toll on Sawston XV with one of their front row players leaving the field with an injury, this, to the disappoint of the St. Ives pack, led to uncontested scrums.
With half time approaching penalties were becoming a big problem for St. Ives, the referee giving out several warnings, the bulls were starting to become frustrated. Sawston, now benefiting from the stationery scrum made their way into the 5 meter line, before going over the line for their first try of the game, the conversion was missed which brought the half to a close.
Half Time Sawston 8-28 St. Ives
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with St. Ives making strong tackles, notably from pack Leader Ross Thompson and heavy carries from a determined Kris Wright giving the away support a lot to shout about, in fact the support was in such good voice the Referee was losing the ability to hear his own voice, pulling the St. Ives skipper aside and asking him to calm the support down, but such a request wasn't heeded by the tremendous travelling spectators as they helped roar St. Ives on to their next try; a perfectly executed interception from Rick Peters led to him galloping down the field and securing his second score of the day. Joe Cox picking up yet more points from the boot.
It was time for the substitutions to enter the field of play with Graham, Tim & Kris taking a well earned rest and being replaced by Kane Hardwick, Brandon MacDonald and local celebrity Ollie Scott. The replacements found their feet quickly with all three putting in important tackles and wining driving mauls. The seconds found themselves in the oppositions half, piling more pressure on which gave the host little option but to kick deep in the St. Ives half, Max Flint running at 15 gathered the ball deep in his own half and decided to have a go himself. Max demonstrating his pace and elusive skills skipped past all defenders that stood in front of him and scored a wonderful individual try, finished off by fly half Joe Cox.
Poor discipline was now St. Ives' biggest issue, with disagreements with the match official resulting in metres being lost, penalties being awarded to Sawston and tempers starting to rise, however this only fuelled a fantastic defensive display, a long fifteen minutes would pass with St. Ives stuck in their own 22 and unable to get a hand on the ball. Sawston were throwing the kitchen sink at this fully determined Ives defence, but huge hits, and vital turnovers were the key to breaking the attack down, Finlay Ruddock was leading the way with a fantastic performance.
Eventually the Ives defence started to defend beyond the laws of the game, with a ruck within five meters of the try line, the referee deemed hands were used and put the blame at the feet of Ross Thompson, who's reward was a ten minute rest. Now with the numerical advantage, Sawston could smell blood and bundled over the line with a strong carry. Conversion missed.
With the opportunity for St. Ives to regroup and take heart from such an impressive defensive display, they decided to play the remainder of the game in the oppositions half. The ball successfully collected from the restart, was ran through well rehearsed moves, showing the benefits of greater numbers of seconds players at training, gave Lee Batmann the chance to put Jordan Edwards down the far side and score in the corner, his first try for the club. Joe Cox now facing his most challenging kick of the day, took a moment before sailing the ball straight between the up rights.
St. Ives now enjoying being firmly in the driving seat started to really entertain the visiting support with some lovely, quick hands only for the match official to incorrectly deem the ball wasn't gathered cleanly, a huge error on his part which he was quick to apologise for, but stopping a certain try none the less. This only gave St. Ives more desire to get one more score on the board, pouring the pressure on and pushing Sawston back, deep into their own five meter line, having played so well throughout the game Adam Scott picked the ball up from the back of a ruck and dived over the line, Joe Cox then brought the game to a close buy scoring his twenty-first point of the game and capping a 100% kicking ratio.