WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
St Ives 21, Ivybridge 38
ST IVES were agonizingly left empty-handed at Alexandra Road after giving the league leaders a real fright in this Western Counties West tussle, writes Dick Straughan.
Two early converted tries through Tyler Gendall and a penalty put the Hakes 14-0 up inside the first quarter before Ivybridge dug in and demonstrated why they have only lost twice this season.
Rhys Adams and Gareth Elliott grabbed touchdowns with Matt Grieveson converting to tie the scores before Adams added his second in the 38th minute for a 19-14 half-time lead.
Early in the second half Jack Kessell restored the home lead with a try under the posts converted by Craig Williams but it lasted just two minutes before Tom Scoles notched a fourth try for the visitors.
Two further tries from Lewis Patterson and Mike Cox late in the game made the victory safe for Ivybridge.
Head coach Rob Elloway said: "We started really well but just ran out of steam a bit in the end. It was a bit disappointing that we didn't manage to get a fourth try and a losing bonus point."
The Hakes have a free weekend before resuming their league survival quest away to Wellington on March 22. The bottom of the table remains unchanged despite this defeat for the Cornish side as Bude, Tavistock and Paignton were all well beaten.
Elloway added: "We will use the weekend off to our advantage now and prepare for the end of season run-in. Wellington will be a tough place to go to but an away win right now would be priceless."
"If we could just get a bonus point up there that would be great but make no mistake we are going to travel looking to win on the road at last."
St Ives have injury concerns over Tom Nicholas (bicep) and Jack Kessell (hip) but Elloway is hopeful both will be fit in time for the trip to Somerset.
The only game scheduled for this weekend affecting the relegation battle sees Tavistock, four points and one place ahead of St Ives in 11th, away at third place Truro.
CORNWALL & DEVON LEAGUE
Pirates Amateurs 31, Veor 14
THE Amateurs bounced back from their disappointing derby defeat at Hayle the previous weekend with a much-needed victory over basement side Veor at the Mennaye Field on Saturday.
The home side were not at their fluent best, with the visitors making life difficult by slowing the game up at every opportunity.
Nevertheless it was the Amateurs who made a good start with a fifth minute penalty from Ryan Forrester, before Kieran Brownfield scored the opening try when he finished off a good period of pressure, with Forrester adding the extra two points.
With the Amateurs continuing to dominate territorially another good spell of pressure from the hosts brought further rewards after 16 minutes when Ben Eddy went in under the posts for his side's second try of the match. Forrester converted for a 17-point lead.
The home side should have extended their advantage while they were well on top, but instead it was Veor who reduced the deficit before half-time. An Amateurs attack was intercepted and Bevan Stone went in under the posts for a try converted by Gareth Mankee to make it 17-7 at the interval.
The second half followed in a similar vein, with the Amateurs adding a third try 16 minutes into the second half through skipper Craig Stevens, with Forrester slotting the conversion.
Forrester himself scored and converted the try that ensured his side the bonus point after 69 minutes.
But with the home side further frustarted by the visitors' delaying tactics, it was Veor who had the last word with a try in the dying moments from Trystan Laity, which Mankee converted with what was to prove the last kick of the game.
This Saturday the Amateurs continue their survival quest away at fellow strugglers Honiton (3pm).
Pirates Amateurs: N Hitchens, J Nicholas, R Forrester, B Eddy, A Hall, A Snell, S Kent, L Edwards, C Goldsworthy, C Stevens (c), L Hollis, D Ross-Nicholl, M Stevens, K Brownfield, M Nicholas. Reps (all used): S Osborne, J Barrett, J Vosper.
Exeter Univ 52, Hayle 12
HAYLE produced an excellent first half display away to the league leaders, only for the students to come storming back in the second half to claim an important bonus point victory in the title race.
The Lions were first to settle and playing with the slope and wind in their favour, opened the scoring in the second minute with a jinking run to the line from in form fly-half Scott Harvey, converted by Dan Magee.
Exeter though hit back with an unconverted try from Jamie Owen after 17 minutes, before scoring a second through Richard Adeniyi-Jones, converted by George Kimmins to edge the students into the lead.
The second half started badly for the visitors who lost centre Doug Arnull to injury early on, and from then on the home side seemed to run in tries almost at will.
The Lions visibly tired as a result and began to struggle up front, although Joe Chadwick showed good pace to finish off a strong 30 metre-run for his side's only try of the second half.
It was the visitors, however, who added tries through Owen, Alex Ross, Vince Young, Dai Rossiter and Skerlow to secure a victory which took them a point clear of second placed Tiverton at the top.
Hayle are without a fixture this week, with their next match at home to mid-table rivals Saltash on Saturday March 22 (3pm).