Injury-hit Tigers left few scraps
Old Cantabrigians 16 Ely 3 INJURY-RAVAGED Ely Tigers had a game to forget on Saturday, when they suffered their second defeat in as many weeks. The Tigers had enforced changes for this Cambridgeshire Cup match with James Dening and Mark Mitzman unavailabl
Old Cantabrigians 16 Ely 3
INJURY-RAVAGED Ely Tigers had a game to forget on Saturday, when they suffered their second defeat in as many weeks.
The Tigers had enforced changes for this Cambridgeshire Cup match with James Dening and Mark Mitzman unavailable.
Julian Thorne stepped into the second row and Stacey Mould went to blind-side flanker as Mark Goude filled the No 8 position.
The backs also had to reorganise with Carl Ward unavailable so Tim Mills moved to full-back, while several of the players carried injuries.
The game started badly for the Tigers, their scrum was wheeled uncontrollably and fumbles and penalties ruled every possession for the first 10 minutes. Yet, they still managed to take a 3-0 lead when Ed Fahy kicked a penalty.
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The game then tightened but Ely continued to give away penalties and the hosts started to dominate possession.
The Ely defence was well-organised but Old Cantabrigians remained patient and were able to keep hold of the ball in rucks and scrums until they eventually kicked a penalty to even the scores.
Sam Sanders-Hewett, one of the players carrying an injury from the start, hobbled off after a collision. Lee Moden came on as flanker and the visitors reorganised.
After a long period of pressure the home side scored from 10-metres out for a 10-3 lead, and then added another three points with a penalty kick before the break.
Ely's tackling improved dramatically in the second half but the home side still managed to extend their lead to 16-3 when they kicked another penalty.
The Tigers suffered further injury problems and had to play with 14 men for a while, but if it had not been for some magnificent defending, with Dan Coulson particularly impressive, the score could have been far worse.
Thorne collapsed at the final whistle; his back injury had worsened as the game wore on, but he bravely continued in the second row.