On beautiful but windy spring afternoon, the scene was set for the St. Ives 2nds last game of the season. With many players returning back from injury The Bulls were able to field a very strong team with a mix of youth and experience, and plenty of replacements..
Fortunately for Mkt Bosworth , who had made the trip from Leicestershire, the St. Ives bench was already down by two, as they were volunteered to play for the visitors.
To make the day a family affair we had two sets of brothers playing in the team, in Adam Scott and Ollie Scott , and Will Mandley and Charlie Mandley.
The game finally got underway with Tommy Beachene and Alex Digbal-Race pulling on a Mkt Bosworth shirt. Bosworth immediately made the first line break which tested the Ives defence, and put Smith under pressure on the wing.
After only 3 mins Tom Watts playing at Centre but jumping at two in the line-out made a great break just beyond the halfway, to sprint to the try line and place the ball under the posts. With the conversion pushed wide by C Mandley , score 5 to 0.
The game seemed evenly matched but a high tackle by Ives gave Bosworth a chance to kick for the corner. On 13 mins a penalty kick was awarded from the resulting line out, and the Bosworth player took a quick tap penalty to score. Score 5 : 5 , after the kick was missed.
Straight from the kick off, Bosworth received the ball which found its way to their fly half who made a break on the Ives 10m line to leave a 2 v 1, then a quick pass to the their inside centre saw him have a clear run to the try line to score, 5 to 10 after another missed conversion.
With the visitors taking the lead, the Bulls were finding it difficult to break down the defence, and it became almost a Battle with Bosworth than of Bosworth (there’s history there somewhere). Eventually Ives got deeper into the Bosworth half. From a scrum, out on the right flank, Ollie Scott picked up the loose ball and made a run only to be tackled, Ives gained another scrum from a knock on at the resulting ruck. With the Ives scrum holding steady Mundy secured a great platform for Boyle at no.9 to push the pass out to W Mandley , a well worked backs move through Vivers saw Tom Watts break the defensive line, to bring the scores level, without again achieving the additional two points.
Only a few minutes later and the Bulls in the ascendency , a quick ball from a ruck saw the brothers Mandley operate with sibling efficiency to score , and C Mandley converted to make it 17 to 10.
Just before half-time a break on the right, saw Dave Royce-Dexter, take a cavalier run to score in the corner. Conversion missed score 22 to 10
Ht 22 to 10
The 2nd half saw Bosworth up their game, and the 3rd quarter of the game saw much of the pressure in the Ives 22.
Eventually on 56 minutes some good penetrative runs tested the Bulls defence and with Ives not folding around quick enough , this gave Bosworth an overlap to head around the last defender to score after desperate last man tackle by Wadd. Again with the kick missed the score 22 to 15.
With only one converted try between the sides, Bosworth then camped themselves in The Bulls 22, yet Ives weathered the storm , and a decisive turnover by George Collett playing a great game on the flank, stole the ball from Bosworth to gain some ground, and to allow W Mandley to kick down field.
With St. Ives now playing in the Bosworth half and the pressure relieved Ives started to play much better rugby.
What seemed like the match winning moment, W Mandley broke the gain line after a great turnover, followed by a direct flat pass to Wadd bursting through the line at full-back, who then drew in the last player to pass to Alex Digbal-Race (now playing on the wing for St. Ives), only to be called back for a dubious forward pass.
With St. Ives having much more possession and this time pressure on the Bosworth 22, a lose pass by St. Ives was picked up by Peach, who then drove at the Bosworth defence, with a quick pass from Dale, W Mandley again found Wadd on the burst, who then with a 3 v 2 , decided to offer the last defenders a dummy pass, then a quick change of pace dotted down under the posts. With the kick converted by Man of the Match Will Mandley, this brought the score to 29 to 15.
With respect to Bosworth and everyone’s season coming to a close they wanted to keep playing and tried to get back into the game late on. A late burst saw their no. 8 break the line only to be high tackled by Tom Watts, who saw yellow and left Ives reduced to 14.
With the clock ticking , Ives then made a couple of last minute changes due to injury, and held onto a well deserved and hard fought victory.