Defeat cannot deny Ely championship
IPA Premiere Merit Table Nord Potton 10 Ely II 7 ELY S second team look to have won the title, despite suffering defeat on Saturday. Third-placed Cambridge IV beat second placed Shelford III to go level on points with Ely at the top of the table, but Ely
IPA Premiere Merit Table Nord
Potton 10 Ely II 7
ELY'S second team look to have won the title, despite suffering defeat on Saturday.
Third-placed Cambridge IV beat second placed Shelford III to go level on points with Ely at the top of the table, but Ely scored more points in their two meetings this season.
Director of Ely Rugby Club Terry Moore said: "The tables have not been updated yet and we are awaiting clarification, but I've studied the rules and it looks like we've won the league, which is a great achievement."
The Tigers arrived with a strong side expecting to have to win this match to secure the title.
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The hosts kicked off and the game started with a pattern which was rarely broken. The big Potton pack dominated the tight and kept a huge territory and possession advantage, but they were poor with ball in hand.
Ely were put in a defensive role, but Potton did not look capable of breaking through except for two forward drives which foundered through poor technique.
Yet the constant pressure caused problems for Ely, firstly when they conceded a penalty in front of the posts which the Potton kicker missed, then when Joel Scott-Paul damaged his shoulder.
Potton did manage to take a 3-0 lead into the break when their kicker successfully put away his second penalty attempt.
Ely skipper Tony Czarnobaj boosted the weight and strength of his scrum and when Ely did get hold of the ball, their excellent full-back Jamie Russell counterattacked well.
But, after Ely moved the ball well through several consecutive phases of play, they were stopped near the touchline and the Potton scrum-half raced 60 metres to score a try, which was then converted to give the home side a 10-0 lead.
With the match apparently over, the Tigers suddenly found the teamwork they had so desperately missed. They set up a series of pressure positions locking Potton in their own 22-metre area before driving Chris Ball through a wall of players to score. Matt Daybell kicked the conversion to reduce the gap to 10-7 but the final whistle went before the game could be restarted.