RFU Senior Vase
St Ives 41
A bright and breezy day welcomed St Ives to Woodnook in the RFU Senior Vase.
Kesteven introduced Damon Subritzky to the side for his debut in the back row, while Ben Betts came in on the wing for the unavailable Harry Cox. Will Cann made his first start of the season in the centre.
Kesteven kicked off and were stung in the first minute as St Ives ran in a try from their own 22. The conversion put them seven points down before most of the spectators had emerged from the clubhouse.
St Ives continued to dominate the early play and Kesteven conceded a number of penalties. When Rob Windsor was judged not to have released the ball under his own posts, he was sent to the sin bin. St Ives kicked the penalty to open up a 10-0 lead.
The home side gathered themselves and got into the game. Pirie left the field with a shoulder injury to be replaced by Will Pert as Ks got into the visitors’ half, with the pack starting to make an impact.
They got their reward five minutes before the break. Tweddle used his strength well to get up to five metres from the line. When he was tackled, he slipped a sublime offload to Pert who came up at pace to storm over for the opening try. Galloway converted and Ks were in the game.
They dominated the remainder of the half and took the lead with a well constructed try. Galloway kicked a penalty to the corner. The pack probed left with a couple of pick-and-goes before swift hands from Draper to Galloway paved the way for Turner to race in at a perfect angle to score. Galloway’s conversion had Kesteven in a 14-10 lead at half time.
The second half started with St Ives getting back in front with their second try before the home side replied.
Again Galloway used the touchline well and when Sheardown won the line-out Galloway was able to throw a long pass out to Betts. The wing got to within five metres and when he was stopped, Windsor followed up to score. Galloway added a magnificent conversion from the touchline to take Kesteven into a 21-17 lead.
Both sides continued to play strongly but it was St Ives who came out on top. Their stand-off had a great boot on him and he kept Kesteven pinned down in their own half.
They regained the lead midway through the half and tackled with great determination to ensure that Kesteven never had another chance. They sealed the game with three more tries in the last 10 minutes.
These late scores flattered the visitors and did not reflect the closeness of the contest. There is no doubt, however, that the visitors deserved the win.
For Kesteven, Sheardown Brown and Purvis played strongly, while Cowley, Pert and Tweddle were forceful. In the backs, Draper and Galloway formed a good half back partnership.
This week, it is back to league action with the visit of Buxton. Kick-off 2.15pm.
Kesteven: Windsor, Fuller, Cann, Turner, Betts, Galloway, Draper, Brown, Sheardown, Purvis, Tweddle, Cowley, Subritzky, Armstrong, Pirie. Reps: Pert, Bartlett, Price.