Ely Tigers enjoy super day at Northampton Saints
- Credit: Steve Wells
An impressive 169 Ely Tigers players and family descended on Northampton Saints' Franklins Gardens for a packed day of rugby and fun.
As part of the club's recent affiliation to Saints they were invited to be their club of the match.
The day involved a coaching session from the club, an official signed shirt presentation and forming the guard of honour to welcome the teams onto the pitch.
As Ely members arrived at the Gardens the heavens opened, but 60 minis and youth tigers took to the training pitches for their session.
Showing true grit and determination they all had a great time in the rain and worked hard. Once they had all dried out Ely Tigers were presented to all the Saints fans in the village.
Club captain Lewis Ludlam was on hand to make the presentation of the signed shirt and was kind enough to take lots of photos and sign autographs for the Tiger cubs.
Just before kick-off, 40 Ely youngsters took the field to take part in the Guard of Honour, forming an impressive tunnel of black and gold.
- 1 ‘It’s sadly coming to a natural end’ - restaurant to close its doors by August
- 2 21st century agreement on future of 17th century pub
- 3 New bid for housing thwarted by Great Crested Newts
- 4 ‘It’s been very rewarding’ - Letizia amazed by support for La Strega
- 5 Back garden log cabin needs permission says council
- 6 Village barn struck by arsonists in 4am blaze
- 7 Change of plan for A142 Mepal bridge works as July closures announced
- 8 Axing BBC TV news from Cambridge 'a backward step' says MP
- 9 Daughter pays tribute to model engineer who 'tried his hand at anything'
- 10 Explained: What the cost of living support package means for you
"It was a very proud moment for us all seeing them represent our club," said a spokesperson.
"Ely Tigers is a great family club from root to branch and this was evident as we had players from 6-16 and then parents, grandparents and aunties and uncles all coming along to share the day with us.
"In what was a hard fought game in which the conditions played their part, Saints narrowly lost out so congratulations go to Sale in what was a hard fought game.
"As the final whistle blew it gave our Tigers the opportunity to meet the players, something that wouldn’t be possible in other sports. Hopefully this spurs them on to work even harder and one day we will see an Ely Tiger running out for the 1st XV."
Through the affiliation, a rugby programme is due to start at City of Ely College and the club is looking to roll this out to further schools in the coming year.
Any local schools that would be keen to get involved should contact ambassador Chris Holmes at email@example.com for further information.
"Luke and the team at Saints mentioned how impressive our reach into the community is and that they can see Ely is a rugby city," added the spokesperson.
"This is through all the hard work of our players, parents, volunteers and supporters. So a massive thanks, we wouldn’t be who we are without you. As a community we are greater than the sum of all our parts, so long may this continue."