Heavy Defeat For Gallant Tigers
ELY Tigers were brought back down to earth with a thud at the weekend as they slipped to a 51-18 loss at Stowmarket. Mark Mitzman s men came into the game in high spirits after successive wins had seen them move clear of the drop zone, but a rampaging per
ELY Tigers were brought back down to earth with a thud at the weekend as they slipped to a 51-18 loss at Stowmarket.
Mark Mitzman's men came into the game in high spirits after successive wins had seen them move clear of the drop zone, but a rampaging performance from Stowmarket proved too good for the home side who battled gallantly until the end.
Skipper Mitzman said: "Playing the final 20 minutes a man down allowed the score line to flatter Stowmarket as this was a really well contested game.
"I'm disappointed to have come away on the losing side but we played some great rugby and I'm sure that if the first half hadn't finished when it did the result might have been different as we had them rattled and on the back foot."
Stowmarket were the first to add points after two early penalties were successfully converted to move the hosts into a 6-0 lead.
The Tigers then went on the offensive and were playing some positive rugby that saw them awarded a penalty of their own, Ed Fahy making no mistake in converting to bring the score to 6-3.
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Stowmarket came back from the restart with a surge for the Tigers line and with the ball sent wide to the winger he ran in to score the first try in the corner.
With five minutes to go in the first-half a high tackle on an Ely player sparked a brawl on the halfway line which resulted in Ely's Lee Coulson, being sin binned along with the Stowmarket scrum half.
Ely were awarded the penalty and with Stowmarket shaken the Tigers attached hard being awarded another penalty under the posts which Jamie Russell took to close the score at half time to 11-6.
The second-half was hotly contested by both teams but it was Stowmarket who seized the initiative, intercepting an errant pass to run home a 60 yard try. The kick for goal was good and the Tigers faced a tough catch up with the score at 18-6.
The try had inspired Stowmarket who came back again with a second try within minutes to take the score to 25-6. The Tigers persevered and with a big push drive down the centre of the pitch the ball was released wide and winger Kev Groom crashed over to score.
More changes were made to the Tigers line up with Skipper Mitzman retiring with a recurring back injury and Lee Coulson retiring with a head injury.
The Tigers were then struck a second blow when having just made the last remaining substitutions, Dan Coulson was forced to leave the pitch with a groin injury, forcing the Tigers to play the last 20 minutes with 14 men.
The last quarter of the game saw a further three converted tries from Stowmarket who took full advantage of their superior numbers.
Ely restored a measure of pride late on when an inspired forward drive saw centre Joel Scott-Paul crash over to score under the posts. Ed Fahy added the conversion as the full time whistle blew the final score 51-18.