GALLERY: Tigers ahead of the chasing pack with Ipswich win

Ely Tigers Rugby v Ipswich,

Ely Tigers Rugby v Ipswich, - Credit: Archant

Rugby Ely Tigers 22 Ipswich YM 8

Ely Tigers Rugby v Ipswich,

Ely Tigers Rugby v Ipswich, - Credit: Archant

Lloyd Palmer’s Ely remain the diving seat for the runner’s up berth after making light work of Ipswich, on Saturday.

Tries from Nathan Brooks and Mark Ryder in the first half, and Ricky Neale and John Dibb in the second, ensured a comfortable win for Ely in testing conditions at the Downham Road Ground.

Victory keeps Ely in second spot in the Eastern Counties Division 1, some nine points clear of third-placed Newmarket, whose challenge seems to be fading. Ely remain some distance short of leaders Southwold, however, who are 21 points ahead.

The Tigers played superbly against the wind in the first half and, within the first 10 minutes, gained a penalty and opted to kick for the corner.

Brooks threw in and regained the ball at the back of the maul. A strong drive from the Tigers forced him over for an unconverted try.

After Ipswich kicked back, Ely were penalised for hands in the ruck and Ipswich took the three points. Before the end of the half Ely had a scrum on the twenty-two, Mark Ryder picked up and sprinted from the back, dodging through the Ipswich defence and touching down for an unconverted try.

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Ely gained the wind in the second half and opted to pin Ipswich back with a kicking game. In the 60th minute, Ipswich were penalised for slowing the ball down, Ely opted for the corner and Ricky Neale scored from the resultant catch and drive.

Alex Milne added the conversion.

In the final 10 minutes of the match, Ely were caught napping at a line-out as Ipswich stole the ball and ran in for a try.

But the Tigers were not done, and man of the match Dan Coulson paved the way for their fourth try by forcing the ball out wide quickly, allowing Alex Milne to place a perfectly weighted cross-field kick to the Ipswich wing, who then fumbled the ball. John Dibb, hot on his heels, fly-hacked the ball through and was quick enough to touch it down before the ball went dead.