Late surge hands Ely bonus-point win

Ely Tigers Rugby v Harwich

Ely Tigers Rugby v Harwich - Credit: Archant

Rugby Ely Tigers 32 Woodbridge Warriors 19

ELY kept their hopes of a top-two finish alive as they overawed mid-table Woodbridge on Saturday to claim the victory and an increasingly important bonus point.

A gutsy performance from Woodbridge kept them in touch with their hosts for most of the match until a late surge by Ely saw them notch up some crucial late scores to wrap up the win.

Victory sees John Dibb’s men remain in third place in the Eastern Counties Division 1, with just four points separating them and second-place Ipswich YM.

The Tigers started out looking the stronger side, forcing themselves towards the Warriors’ try line. A ruck formed on the five metre line and an inside ball to Lee Coulson put him through the opposition defence to touch down. Joel Scott Paul converted the two points.

Only a few minutes later, Woodbridge came back to score an unconverted try after confusion in the Ely ranks.

The Tigers fought back from the kick-off and, with a steady flow of the possession, were able to gain good territory.

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Quick ball came out to the backs and was shipped to Lee Coulson on the wing. After a menacing run through two tackles, he crashed over in the corner for his second try of the day.

The Tigers began to control the game and a sniping run from man-of-the-match Duncan Fraser almost earned him a try; he was taken down just before the line.

Ever-present Mitchell Kennett forced his way over the line from the back of the resulting ruck for an unconverted try, however.

Ely maintained their positive form in the second half and some quick thinking from Dan Coulson placed Sam Smith in space and allowed him to crash over in the corner for Ely’s bonus point try.

Woodbridge were not our of it however, and a series of errors allowed them back into the match, running over two tries in the space of 10 minutes to bring them to within a score of the hosts.

Just as they looked like capitulating however, Ely were able to dominante a Woodbridge scrum and seize possession. Number 8 Luke Cornwell picked up the loose ball and raced over the line to put down under the posts for a converted try.

In the dying minutes, Ely gained a penalty in the opposition twenty-two, Scott Paul kicking the three points.