Blistering start to the new campaign
By Phil Brown
Bulls blow visitors away with tremendous display
Playing at their highest ever league level, St. Ives made a statement of intent with a tremendous performance in their first competitive outing of 2018/19. Excellent pre-season preparation led by coaches John Naylor
and Paul Ashbridge
meant the Ives were quietly confident in the preceding days.
The hosts started at a blistering pace, rocking Coalville back on their heels and penning them in their own 22. Rustiness meant a couple of chances were not converted until a penalty was conceded by Coalville allowing Ashbridge to open the scoring.
Minutes later, tommy newman
rode a tackle and planted the ball on the line. Sadly the referee was unsighted and no try was awarded.
Coalville defended stoutly until a moment of individual brilliance by Mickey Drake saw him dance his way past countless defenders to score.
Ives continued to play expansively, but a misplaced pass allowed Coalville territory and possession. The visitors applied immense pressure, but found no way past Ives defence. Twice they crossed the line. The first time they were held up, the second was scratched off for a block in midfield.
Coalville were finally rewarded with a penalty.
From the kick off, Ives regained possession. The ball was whipped to Drake who took a much more direct route to the line for his second.
Coalville were still game, but could still find no way through. One more penalty was converted, half time 17-6.
The second half saw Coalville overwhelmed. An immediate penalty stretched the lead.George Peacock
ran a kick back aggressively. A delightful offload saw Jack Blackley
released down the wing. A perfect draw and pass to the supporting debutant Chris Williams
completed the score.
Shortly after, a bullocking run by Chris Williams in centre field put Ives on the front foot again. Great hands saw Josh Meadows breach the defence and put Naylor in under the posts.
Coalville’s frustration was palpable. Some injudicious use of the boot on prone Bull Ollie Bartlett
saw a penalty on Ives line reversed.
The visitors continued to attack, but eye catching defence from the likes of Matt Wood
, Duncan Williams
and all kept them out.
Losing possession in contact, the visiting 18 saw red following a Glasgow kiss with Drake.
The Bulls’ next try was testament to their defence. Suffocating Coalville’s efforts with the ball, they pushed them back. A ball was knocked on in midfield and the alert Meadows gathered it and scampered through to score.
From the kick off, Drake turned provider as he put Blackley through a gap. Once again drawing in the last defender, Blackley put Ashbridge in.
Coalville fought hard in the last quarter, which remained scoreless until the last play of the game. From a scrum in their own half, Ives played the ball slickly through the hands, finally rewarding the indefatigable Bartlett with a try.
Ashbridge missed no kicks all day.
A delighted Bartlett stated, “We have put a marker down and set ourselves a high standard to live up to already. Scoring the tries we did was great. Even better was keeping Coalville try-less. We’ll all be down again on Tuesday to prepare for next week’s derby.”