Ely Tigers roar to narrow Wymondham win to retake their place at the top of the league
- Credit: Archant
Ely Tigers returned to the top of the Eastern Counties Greene King Division One table with a hard-fought victory over title rivals Wymondham.
The Tigers were toppled from the league’s summit by Wymondham a fortnight ago after experiencing defeat against Wisbech, but responded in perfect style with tries from Mitchell Kennett and Oliver Jones’ first for the club in a narrow 12-10 triumph.
On a chilly afternoon at Wymondham’s Tuttles Lane ground, both teams were unable to convert spells of early possession into points in the first quarter.
However, the hosts were eventually first to make their posession count after the Tigers were penalised for offside and a penalty was kicked by Tom Midgley for the first three points of the encounter.
Ely responded to going down well, and were soon awarded a penalty after Wymondham had their hands in the ruck.
It wasn’t in kicking range so the Tigers decided to aim for the corner, forming a maul and driving towards the five metre line.
The ball eventually found its way out to Mitchell Kennett, who held off his opposite number and forced his way over the line for the first try of the match, with Matt McCarthy adding the extras.
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In the second half, the Tigers found themsevles defending their line after a strong Wymondham start. After a spell of pressure, the ball came out of the scrum to the Wymondham centre who was brought down but able to offload to Andy Mackay who crashed over and dotted down for a converted try.
Shocked by Wymondham’s positive start to the half, Ely regrouped and pushed forward, breaking the opposition defensive line but their efforts saw them unable to keep the ball in hand.
Their struggle to find a breakthrough came to an end when quick ball was thrown wide to winger Oliver Jones who sprinted round the opposition full-back and touched down in style for his first try for the club.
Ely, knowing their place at the top of the league would be secured if they were to hold on, were given an almighty scare in the last five minutes of the game when Wymondham had a shot at posts.
To the Tigers’ relief, however, the shot fell short, and some heroic defending from emerging star Harry Rogerson secured an excellent win for Ely.
The Tigers’ narrow victory took them two points above their championship rivals, with a clash agains Woodbridge next up for the league leaders.