Semi drama sees Ely go through

PUBLISHED: 12:08 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

CLEAN BREAK: Action from Ely II win over Cambridge IV.
Photo: HELEN DRAKE 9498

CLEAN BREAK: Action from Ely II win over Cambridge IV. Photo: HELEN DRAKE 9498

Ely II 13pts Cambridge IV 0pts CAMBRIDGE fielded a big side for the Greene King Premiere Cup semi-final which ended in dramatic fashion. In windy conditions, Ely lost the toss and faced the storm. For the first 10 minutes, their scrum was under real pres

Ely II 13pts

Cambridge IV 0pts

CAMBRIDGE fielded a big side for the Greene King Premiere Cup semi-final which ended in dramatic fashion.

In windy conditions, Ely lost the toss and faced the storm. For the first 10 minutes, their scrum was under real pressure and they were wheeled at will.

Although never totally in control, Ely weathered this storm, too.

Cambridge used the gale behind them poorly and, under pressure from Ely's tactics of attacking the opposition through every member of the team, gave away a lot of penalties. Ely rarely kicked and attacked from everywhere.

It was not too long before Cambridge conceded a penalty in their 22-metre area. Vic Cato's half-break was taken on by Richard Nelson who went over the line to score.

Kieran Kennett made a very good break followed by a kick-and-chase which gained 60 metres. Near the end of the half, another series of attacks moved the Tigers 50 metres close to the Cambridge line until the defence was stretched enough to leave a gap for David Lloyd to dive through and score.

Half-time arrived with Ely 10-0 up and the wind behind. Matt Daybell showed Cambridge how to use the wind with three long, bouncing kicks keeping Ely in the pressure position.

The Tigers were dominating play and Matt Daybell kicked a penalty to put Ely 13-0 up.

Then, with the Tigers attacking again, the referee stopped the match to allow treatment to Sean Kennett. The paramedic was called and an ambulance took him to hospital although, thankfully, it turned out not to be serious.

Because the game was held up for the ambulance on the pitch, Cambridge decided it was not worth continuing, conceding the match.

Wisbech 29 Ely Tigers A XV 0

THE late withdrawal of Colchester left Ely with a hastily rearranged fixture against old rivals who play two divisions higher.

It was a fiercely contested, fast game. The Tigers were hit by an early setback when skipper Gavin Ross had to leave the field with a serious gash to be replaced at fly-half by Sam Saunders, who made an impressive debut.

Early in the match the Tigers were penalised and Wisbech kicked into the Ely 22-metre area, scoring from the resulting line-out.

After the break, the match continued in much the same vein, with the exception that the Ely pack were much more solid in the tight aspect of their game. Then Ely had to replace injured open side Lee Moden.

Wisbech sustained a period of pressure long enough to score which they did well to convert. Ely were forced to replace the luckless Tim Mills, with a jaw injury. Ely were slow to reorganise and Wisbech crossed wide out for another converted try.

The Tigers continued to attack but Wisbech tackling forced the ball loose and Wisbech struck on the counter, running in another unconverted try.

With only a minute left the Tigers were turned over and were powerless to prevent Wisbech applying a gloss to their performance for a 29-0 scoreline.

Royston Under-15s 26

Ely Tiger-15s 26

ELY immediately penetrated deep into the Royston half, with their pack dominating.

This effort was rewarded when Chris Hobson went over for the first try of the game to lead 7-0.

Royston came back strongly and exploited a gap in the three-quarter line and levelled the scores. Ely were forced on the defensive, lost momentum, and over the next 40 minutes, Royston scored three tries.

It looked disastrous for Ely, with defeat imminent. However, events changed when Ely were awarded a penalty metres from the Royston try-line.

Tim Evans received the ball and charged at the Royston line, breaking through and scoring. Ely had regained the momentum, the aggression and, over the next minutes, repeatedly hammered into the Royston defence.

Jerome Scott Paul scored two tries, bringing the teams level, with Chris Hobson kicking three conversions.

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