St Ives 45, Paignton 7
THERE was cause for a double celebration at the weekend as St Ives registered their biggest win of the season over struggling Paignton Saxons and climbed above Tavistock to ease their own Western Counties West relegation fears, writes Dick Straughan.
The Hakes scored seven tries and moved up to 11th in the table, but will now need to back up that performance with another strong display this Saturday as promotion chasing Burnham-on-Sea visit Alexandra Road (2.30pm).
The Somerset side comfortably beat St Ives 37-12 when they met in early September and travel to Cornwall having lost only once on the road so far this season.
But Rob Elloway's team have been steadily improving in recent weeks, winning each of their last three home games.
And the head coach wants his team to keep that run of form going into what will be their final league game of the year.
He said: "We'll play to win. This is going to be a really good measure of how far we have come since we lost at their place."
"We have been improving bit by bit and our young boys are all learning. I just want us to keep working and building so that we can pick up points wherever we can."
The Hakes showed good composure against Paignton in a match which kicked off over an hour late after the Devon side was delayed.
They took an early lead through a second minute Craig Williams penalty and the centre then added a try.
Aaron Bennett and scrum-half Jack Lonsdale added further first half tries as the Cornish team built up a healthy lead, and Sam Heath scored their fourth early in the second half.
Paignton replied with a converted Scott Vyle try before the Hakes hit them with three more touchdowns of their own.
Tom Nicholson, Tyler Gendall and fly-half Jack Kessell each ran in scores with Williams converting two to take his personal points tally for the match to 16, leaving head coach Elloway delighted.
"It was a fantastic win," he said. "Considering the delay to the kick-off and a bit of a shaky start it was great to then run in 20 points and some good tries."
"It would have been very easy to get dragged down to their level in the second half but the boys showed a great attitude and character.
"They then had the quality to go up through the gears and finish the game off."
Camelford 25, St Just 6
A HEAVILY depleted St Just squad put up a brave performance after a long trip to Camelford, despite slipping to a disappointing defeat.
Injury and illness left the visitors with only a bare 15 players available, and just before the squad set off from St Just a coastguard call-out meant the Tigers lost another player and ended up making the trip with 14.
Despite being a man down, St Just started the stronger side with their seven-man scrum marching the full-strength Camelford pack backwards at the first scrummage.
Pressuring the Ford backline St Just were awarded a penalty for the ball carrier not releasing and Steve Walsh, deputising at fly half, made no mistake with the kick.
Camelford replied with a converted try by their fly half after some poor St Just defence.
However, the Tigers were dominant at the set piece, with props Liam Douglas and Paul Stevens in destructive mood, and flankers Mark Lea and Asher Richards pressuring the Camelford line-out throughout.
St Just put more points on the scoreboard after 20 minutes, when Walsh landed another penalty. Camelford answered with a penalty of their own, and five minutes before the break scored their second try, their scrum half pouncing on a mistake at the back of the scrum to make it 15-6 at half-time.
St Just again conceded another try early in the second half, their winger making the most of a slip from the Tigers full back to score.
The visitors again showed excellent heart, kept the pressure on at the set piece and defended valiantly and were unlucky not to get a couple of tries of their own.
But with five minutes to go Camelford finally broke through the St Just defence to score with a well-worked move.
St Just round off their 2013 fixtures at home to Redruth Albany on Saturday (2.30pm).
St Just: Douglas, Odendaal, P Stevens, Marment, D Stevens, Lea, Richards, Vernon, Oats, Walsh, Batten, Robins, Usher, Cock.