GALLERY: Tiring Ely out-fought by Newmarket in tight match
Ely Tigers 24 Newmarket 40
TIRED legs saw Ely concede some decisive scores late on in their tussle with Newmarket on Saturday.
Though the hosts led at half-time and were just two points behind going into the final 15 minutes, mounting injuries and a wearying defence allowed Newmarket to move into a unassailable lead in the final few minutes.
The defeat, Ely’s third in succession, sees them tumble down to seventh place in the Eastern Counties 1 league.
A woeful opening 10 minutes from the hosts allowed Newmarket to build up a healthy advantage. Some careless play from Ely allowing the visitors to kick two simple penalties before they ran over the opening try of the afternoon.
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Midway through the half, Ely finally began to band together as a team, Mitchell Kennet was fed fast ball from a ruck, crashing through multiple tackles before offloading to Giles Skiba, who went over for the try.
Building on their breakthrough, Ely forced Newmarket into their twenty-two and gained a throw-in. The Ely forwards dominated at the line-out, with a rolling maul forcing the Newmarket defence backwards.
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Kennett pulled the ball out of the back and crashed over for Ely’s second of the day.
Newmarket fought back though, converting a simple penalty in Ely’s twenty-two.
Ely were not to be outdone though, and a moment of indecision from the Newmarket scrum-half allowed Sam Benzie to intercept his pass.
Benzie sprinted half the length of the pitch to place down under the posts and convert the points, brining the score to 17-16 at the end of the first half.
Squandering their advantage however, Ely began the second half continuously conceding penalties.
Newmarket were able to convert three points to gain the lead and quickly added a converted try to open up a gap. Despite battling well to record another try of their own, Benzie running over, Ely were beginning to tire.
Two punishing tries in the final 15 minutes saw Newmarket gallop away form the hosts, pulling out a lead which Ely were unable to recover.