GALLERY: Tigers notch up back-to-back wins with Harwich demolition
Ely Tigers 32 Harwich and Dovercourt 3
THERE was no room for festive good will at Ely on Saturday as the Tigers crushed their opponents.
John Dibb’s resurgent side endured something of a blip at the start of November but have roared back in some style in the latter stages of the month, picking up back-to-back wins as they head into the festive period.
The win, Ely’s fifth in nine matches so far this season, sees them up into fourth place in Eastern Counties Division One ahead of their trip to rock-bottom Thurston on December 8.
Ely were in good shape from the outset, maintaining possession of the ball and keeping their opponents pegged back. Harwich conceded a penalty in their twenty-two for offside and Sam Benzie kicked the three points to open Ely’s account.
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The hosts added to the score shortly after when quick ball from the breakdown was fed out to captain Dibb, who cut through the Harwich defence and offloaded the ball for an Ed Fahy try. Benzie kicked the conversion.
Harwich started to push their way back into the Ely twenty-two in one of their first forays of the match and Ely conceded a penalty for hands in the ruck which Harwich converted.
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After the restart, Ely settled once more and picked up a penalty of their own which they kicked for three points.
Keen to increase their lead before the end of the first half, Ely’s Joel Scott Paul and Benzie took up the mantle, putting together a wonderful passage of interplay to give Scott Paul the space he needed to score the try.
A few minutes later, Benzie ran a superb attacking line and broke through tackles to force his way over for a converted try, putting daylight between the sides.
Ely struggled in the second half as conditions worsened and the pitch became waterlogged, making sinuous play close to impossible.
Ely spent most of the half defending their own try line but did so stoutly, preventing Harwich from notching up a score.
A few minutes before full time, Ely were able to make their way out of their own twenty-two and the forwards surged into opposition territory with a maul.
After several thwarted attemptes, Dan Coulson was finally able to get over the line and score to earn Ely a bonus point. Man of the match went to Ed Fahy.