RUGBY: Ely Tigers open the New Year with resounding victory in Eastern Counties League

PUBLISHED: 10:54 13 January 2020

Mitch Kennett powers through before scoring a try for Ely. Picture: Steve Wells

Mitch Kennett powers through before scoring a try for Ely. Picture: Steve Wells

Steve Wells

Ely Tigers opened the New Year with a handsome victory in the London 3 Eastern Counties League on Saturday.

Nathan Brooks gets blocked for Ely. Picture: Steve WellsNathan Brooks gets blocked for Ely. Picture: Steve Wells

The city side beat Ipswich YM 27-10 at Cambridge Commodities Park to complete the double over their Suffolk opponents.

Tigers were unable to cope with strong winds as they were unable to gain control of possession inside the opening 10 minutes, and went behind from a smooth Ipswich move.

From a line-out metres from the Ely try line, the home defence stood firm before a rolling move from an Ipswich scrum allowed the visitors to bundle the ball over the line in the corner for the game's opening try.

From a scrthe visitors broke from the rear before bundling the ball home for the game's opening try, although they gave Tigers a route back into the game after a missed conversion.

Ely'’s Tom Holloway goes in for a tackle. Picture: Steve WellsEly'’s Tom Holloway goes in for a tackle. Picture: Steve Wells

Jake Alsop converted a penalty to reduce the deficit for Ely, although Ipswich largely dominated proceedings in blustery conditions.

Surprisingly, it was Tigers who would earn a 10-5 half-time lead courtesy of Joel Scott-Paul's try under the posts after good work from Jacob Muncey to break down an attacking move and Luke Turner's burst deep inside the Ipswich half.

Despite the visitors starting the second period in positive fashion, they were made to pay as Muncey went over to increase the home side's advantage.

This encouraged Ipswich to attack, trying to make their free-flowing play count, but each time the home side kicked away, they soon lost possession as the home side stood firm.

Matty Balmer of Ely Tigers looks for space. Picture: Steve WellsMatty Balmer of Ely Tigers looks for space. Picture: Steve Wells

A penalty against Ipswich gave Tigers some breathing space, but 18 minutes into the second half, the Tigers line was broken as the visitors crossed the line to cut the lead to 15-10.

The home side seemed to go up a gear from the restart, not allowing Ipswich time to escape and the pressure soon paid off.

Stand-in captain Mitch Kennett powered pass tackles to dive in over the try line close to the post, leaving an easy kick over for Alsop to add some daylight on the scoreboard.

Tigers again applied pressure and again it resulted in a try, Muncey going over once more in the corner to help record a resounding seventh league victory of the campaign. Ely sit third in the league table and next travel to Crusaders on Saturday.

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