Liskeard-Looe 0, St Ives 27
ST IVES survived a fine effort by relegation-haunted Liskeard-Looe to secure a try-scoring bonus point in the dying moments of the game at Lux Park on Saturday, writes Nigel Walrond.
It was an important extra point, as leaders Teignmouth kept up the pressure on the Hakes in the race for automatic promotion with a 62-29 triumph at Hayle.
It came at the end of a difficult week for the Hakes, which saw top try scorer Kyle Moyle leave for the Pirates, but player-coach Ceiron Thomas reject an approach from the Championship side.
"We knew it was going to be difficult, certainly with the week that we had, with all the uncertainty going on," said St Ives head coach Joff Rowe.
"We went up to Liskeard very prepared, but we hadn't played for three weeks and we had only trained once or twice during that period.
"It was a big ask, and we lost Ben Wheeler at half-time with a broken knuckle, but the lads defended extremely well and worked hard, and we didn't give up, despite things not going our way.
"We are at that stage of the season where every side we play is probably worried about getting 50 or 60 points put on them, and they are really putting an effort in to survive 80 minutes with us.
"When things don't go well and it doesn't happen as planned, and you lose a little bit of luck, things become a little bit difficult.
"Our discipline wasn't good, but our work rate was exceptional and our defence was awesome."
Rowe added: "The game was very bitty, and we were a little bit rusty, and we could have done with scoring more tries earlier on, but we stuck at it and scored our bonus-point try in the 79th minute.
"Liskeard-Looe should not be anywhere near the bottom of the league, and they are certainly a side that will turn some of the big guns in our league over."
Young winger Jacob Ninnes scored two tries for St Ives, and Rowe said: "Our try machine Kyle has gone, but we have got a 19-year-old lad in Jacob who is quite capable of filling his boots.
"We have just got to give him game time, and with some experience, and learning from Ceiron, it will be game on.
"I think we will see the better of Jacob now that Kyle has gone, but I would be happy to have both of them in the side any day."
St Ives handed a debut off the bench to new back row signing Sam Heath, from Pirates Amateurs, and went in front after 15 minutes.
Forwards and backs combined well to send winger Rob Rowe over for a try, and the Hakes extended that lead soon after, taking full advantage of a sin-binning, when some excellent handling and inter-passing enabled full back Ninnes to find a gap and dive over in the corner.
Man-of-the-match Thomas converted, then slotted a penalty to make it 15-0 at the interval.
Ten minutes into the second half, he made a break through two tackles for the Hakes' third try, before Ninnes popped up with the bonus-point score with a minute to go, when he hit an excellent line through the home defence, and Thomas converted.
St Ives Colts 10, Wadebridge Colts 12
ST IVES slipped to defeat at home to Wadebridge, despite taking an early lead at Alexandra Road.
In the fifth minute, inside centre Ethan Phillips crashed the ball up the middle, before possession was quickly recycled and moved to the right to outside centre Niall Prisk to score a try.
But only four minutes later, the St Ives defence was breached in the same way, to level the scores at 5-5.
St Ives dominated the scrum without converting their advantage into points, and paid the price when Wadebridge scored again following two missed tackles out wide, and the conversion was also slotted to give the visitors a 12-5 lead.
The theme of the first half continued in the second, until 15 minutes had elapsed, when full back Dan McClary unselfishly offloaded to winger Sam Chandler to dot down in the corner, but the conversion was off target to leave the hosts still trailing 12-10.
With five minutes remaining, St Ives were awarded a penalty in a very kickable position, but the chance went begging, despite the referee ordering it to be retaken due to a Wadebridge infringement.
St Ives Colts: McClary, Gibson, N Prisk, Phillips, Chandler, Narbett, Rouncefield, Bishop, J Stevens, R Stevens, Hill, Kesty, Curnow, Joel Ninnes, Parton (capt). Replacements: Morris, Leach, Short, Hart, West, Cashmore, Farmer.
St Ives U7s took two teams to Truro, the only side to have beaten them this year, and came away with two wins to extend their unbeaten streak to nine successive games.
St Ives were 70-50 winners in the first game, with man of the match Will Stirling scoring nine tries.
Team and tries: Will Stirling 9 tries and MoM; Jake Cartwright 2; Thomas Redondo-Barter 1 try and best tackler; Ella Redondo-Barter 1, Ethan Redondo-Barter 1.
St Ives won the second match 70-55, with man of the match Oscar Evans scoring five tries.
Team and tries: Oscar Evans 5 tries and MoM; William Cross 5; Parka Roderick 3 Ruby Perkin 1, Tyler Goodman, Jude Hardy.
St Ives U8s drew their match at Truro 12 tries apiece.
Captain Huxley Kirby scored four tries for the visitors while Harley Mansell (tagging) and Samuel Harrison (tries) shared the man of the match.
Team and tries: Huxley Kirby 4; Samuel Harrison 3; Jacob Adams 3; Max Williams 2; Harry Goodman; Fabien Hamon Lawrence.
St Ives U9s travelled to Truro and lost their match by 13 tries to two.
Cian scored both the Hakes tries while Will was man of the match.
St Ives U9s: James (capt), Cian,Jack, Josh, Kai, Liam, Max, Tom, Will.