Bulls enjoy the sunshine and play free flowing rugby
By Phil Brown
Game Thorney side brushed aside in second half demolition
With ten first XV regulars unavailable, this was an opportunity for St. Ives to test the progression of many who have been shining for the 2nd team. Thorney, who play two levels below the Bulls, were expecting a tough day at the office in this H&P Cup semi-final and faced with their own problems due to injuries stuck to their task scoring the opening and closing points of the match.
The Bulls were facing slope, sun and slight breeze in the first half and were guilty of a slow start. Two penalties in quick succession offered the visitors the chance for points, only the second being converted.
St. Ives were shaken out of their lethargy and began to put pressure on the opposition. A sweet training ground move following a lineout saw Ben Fleming
just manage to dot the ball down by the corner flag before being bundled into touch.
There then followed twenty minutes of a very even contest. Thorney attempted to use the recent England tactics and kicked often, but the Ives back three were equal to the challenge.
Following a quickly taken penalty, good hands saw the Ives surge upfield, Alex Henly
finishing off a fine team try.
Henly was instantly in the action from the kick off and blasted through the visitors’ defence, drawing the full back and putting his supporting skipper Ollie Bartlett
through to score.
Thorney had the opportunity to narrow the gap, but another penalty attempt fell short. Ives cleared their lines, but Thorney had their best period of sustained pressure of the game. Only sound defence kept them at bay until Josh Meadows
pounced on a ball which went to ground. He sprinted upfield and put Fleming away for his second.
Half time 22-3
The second half saw a series of superb interventions by winger Warwick Brittany
. The first saw him field another kick over and make his way from his own 22 to that of the opposition. He steadied himself and put the supporting Fleming in for his hattrick.
A few minutes later, Brittany was the beneficiary as sweet hands saw him score. Jack Hickman
rose high to steal an opposition lineout and the midfield of Mickey Drake
, John Paxton
and Henly saw Brittany with space. He rounded his opposite number to score.
Thorney understandably began to wilt in the heat and the Bulls piled on the pressure. Up front, Dave Sharp, Tommy Newman
and Josh Dear
were having things mostly their own way and providing good set piece possession.
From one scrum, a series of phases and great continuity ended with Drake executing a delightful chip and catch to score under the posts.
From the kick off, Meadows fed Bartlett who breached the onrushing defence. Paxton was in close support, then feeding Jack Webb
who sold an outrageous dummy to create a gap to score.
From the next attack, a chip through saw Bartlett gather and score his second.
The bulls were in no mood to take their feet of the gas and continued to attack. A penalty was kicked to touch. From the lineout, the Ives drove their opposition back, with Tommy Newman
the man to touch down.
Brittany was again in the action and broke the gain line to sprint downfield. Webb was once more in support and went over for his own second try.
With his lungs bursting after his endeavours, Brittany fielded the ball in his own 22. With the opposition now fragmented he ran hither and thither the entire length of the field to score a fine individual try.
Ives final try was also an individual affair. Fleming found himself in his own half and spotted acres of space downfield. He kicked over the top, chased his own effort and gathered to score his fourth try of the match.
With the arbiter looking at his watch and wondering when he could get his sustenance in the Clubhouse, Thorney showed great spirit to mount a final attack. Winning a 5-metre scrum, they kept possession until the ball was dotted down for a deserved try.
Ives kicking duties were shared amongst Henly, Drake and Mitch Newman. Just over half of the 13 tries were successfully converted.
When asked to what he put his day’s success down to, winger Fleming commented, “Well Ash wasn’t here, was he?” Whether that inspired him to make up for the fewer conversions with more tries, only he can say…..