Hakes eye top spot after 13th league win
St Ives 39, OPMs 14
ST IVES warmed up for Saturday's eagerly-awaited local derby clash at home to mid-table Hayle (2.30pm) with their 13th successive Cornwall and Devon League victory to complete the double over OPMs this season.
Leaders Teignmouth also won again, with a bonus point, to keep the gap at the top to six points, but with the south Devon outfit having played a game more, which St Ives will wipe out this weekend.
The Hakes are still adjusting to life after top try scorer Kyle Moyle, who has joined Cornish Pirates, and head coach Joff Rowe said: "This was a good result with a bonus point, but the weather and changes in personnel made our performance a little less interesting.
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"I am comfortable with most aspects of our game, but we need to increase our performance by 30 per cent if we intend to maintain our current winning streak.
"Sean Stevens was our man of the match, but thanks should go to all of the players for the effort they put in."
The Hakes were forced to shuffle their pack of players as some of this season's regulars were unavailable.
The game began well for the Hakes but not before they had weathered an early period of sustained pressure from the visitors.
Former Cornish Pirates fly half Ceiron Thomas kicked a fifth-minute penalty after an infringement at a breakdown, and that seemed to settle the Hakes.
The forwards began to pressurise the visitors' defence and they were rewarded on 14 minutes when hooker and captain Ben Taylor forced his way over the line in typical fashion to score the first try of the game, and Thomas converted for a 10-0 lead.
As the half wore on, it became a battle of the forwards on a very heavy pitch.
OPMs missed a penalty opportunity after 21 minutes through Tom Finnie, and St Ives began to take control.
On the half-hour mark, centre Tom Nicholas crossed for his fourth try of the season, with Thomas again adding the extras.
Then, two minutes before the break, flanker Sam Heath registered his first try in a St Ives shirt since his move from Pirates Amateurs to make it 22-0 at the interval.
The second half was a much closer contest as the visitors began to raise their game, taking the play to St Ives, but it was Thomas who scored first with a 43rd-minute penalty.
St Ives were penalised for a series of infringements at breakdowns, and OPMs full back Finnie kicked two out of three attempts at goal to cut the deficit to 25-6.
Rowe introduced fresh legs, with Jamie Prisk replacing winger Tom Murray, with Prisk going to full back and Jacob Ninnes to the wing, and on the hour mark, back rower Neil Corin burst over from the base of a five-metre scrum to score his 12th try of the season under the posts and secure the bonus point, with Thomas converting to put the game beyond doubt at 32-6.
Finney slotted another penalty for OPM, and the visitors managed a late consolation try through No 8 Ed Stevens, but in between, St Ives got the ball wide in attack for one of the few times in the game, and full back Prisk scored his first senior try for the club since his return from Hayle, with Thomas converting.
St Ives: Ninnes, A Rowe, Nicholas, Veal, Murray (J Prisk), Thomas, Palmer, Jenkins, Taylor (capt), Rouncefield (L Trudgeon), Barber, Humphries, Heath (Cox), S Stevens, Neil Corin.
Scorers: St Ives: Tries: Taylor, Nicholas, Heath, Corin, J Prisk; Cons: Thomas (4); Pens: Thomas (2). OPM: Try: Stevens; Pens: Finnie (3).
Wessex 13, Hayle 22
HAYLE go into Saturday's local derby at leaders St Ives on the back of a hard-fought victory at bottom of the table Wessex last weekend.
The home side have only one league win to their name all season but belied their lowly position in the table at times with a battling performance.
Hayle led 10-8 at the interval with a try from Talan Daniels converted by Adam Strick, who also kicked a penalty.
Andy Alderman notched an early penalty for Wessex before had to go off injured, with the home side's only try coming from Dan Morris, which Tom Phillips converted prior to adding a penalty.
The game remained a fairly tight affair until Martin Strick settled the outcome with two second half tries.
But Wessex could count themselves a little unlucky when former Hayle player Tom Thatcher had a try disallowed following up a charge down.
Another opportunity went begging when a free ball over the try line rolled out of play before it could be dotted down. And a missed penalty in the last minute that would have given Wessex a losing bonus point went wide, leaving the home side with nothing to show for their efforts.
Scorers: Wessex: Try: Morris; Con: Phillips; Pens: Phillips, Alderman. Hayle: Tries: M Strick 2, T Daniel; Cons: A Strick 2; Pen: A Strick.