RUGBY: Injury-hit Ely Tigers edged out in Eastern Counties League meeting at Fakenham
- Credit: Archant
An injury-hit Ely Tigers were edged out in their latest London 3 Eastern Counties League outing.
Tigers travelled to Fakenham on Saturday, having been forced to make changes to their starting XV due to injury and player unavailability.
Ely found themselves in front within the first five minutes. Grant Storey's outstretched arm was enough to ground the ball after bursting through from a break by Mitch Kennett.
With the wind in their favour, the hosts were then awarded a penalty in front of the posts and simultaneously, Tigers captain Matt McCarthy was forced off with an ankle injury.
This alongside missed tackles proved costly as Fakenham went ahead. Neat movement from right to left allowed for an overlap to run into a try, opening a five-point gap after a conversion.
The gap widened further on the half-hour mark, where after another penalty against Ely, the home side applied pressure as they broke down the wing to score an unchallenged try, adding the conversion for 17-5.
While Ely applied their own pressure, another error enabled Fakenham to move out of their half and into Tigers territory and, again, were handed a penalty to convert for 20-5.
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Good pressure from Alfie Ramswell, Jim Storey, Jacob Muncey and Luke Cornwell led to Ely's best chance of the half. After passing the home defence, Tom Green took the mantle to score, but the try was cancelled out due to 'double movement'.
Ely did manage to find a way over the line, Cornwell winning the ball from a lineout before feeding Nathan Brooks to surge through.
The second-half saw Ely camped inside the Fakenham try-line area, but handling errors cursed the visitors. A rare attack from the hosts following a quickly-taken penalty caught Tigers napping, increasing the score to 23-10.
Replacement Adam Featherstone reduced the arrears to cut the gap to eight points, but were fortunate when Fakenham missed two penalty kicks, having been given a second chance after the referee penalised Tigers for 'back chat'.
Ely managed to grab the last word when Muncey and Jake Alsop combined, as the game ended in a 23-22 win for Fakenham.
The defeat leaves Ely in third place as they welcome Thetford to Cambridge Commodities Park on February 15, who sit two points behind Tigers.