No let-up from Tigers as they record fifth straight win

Ely Tigers

Ely Tigers - Credit: Archant

Rugby Mersea Island 15 Ely Tigers 38

Lloyd Palmer’s Tigers made it five on the spin with victory at Mersea Island, who were previously undefeated at home.

The Tigers were keen to set the tone and needed just three minutes to get a score on the board, Joel Scott Paul, at fly-half, cutting through a weak defence and offloading to Matt McCarthy, who touched down for a try.

Ely continued to control the ball after Mersea kicked back. The Tigers were camped in the opposition twenty-two and were finally rewarded when man of the match Harry Rogerson picked up the ball from the back of a ruck, bolted around the opposition defence and scored in the corner.

Mersea restarted but, this time, Ely hesitated with the catch and the ball was scooped up by the opposition. Mersea forced their way in the Tigers’ twenty-two and a strong crash ball from their inside centre finished off the play with an unconverted try.

Ely shrugged off their mistake and forced the opposition to concede a penalty.

The Tigers opted to kick for the corner, and duly won the resulting line-out, which allowed a powerful forward maul to force Ricky Neale over the line for a try.

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But Mersea fought their way back in the game, aided by some careless penalties conceded by Ely, which allowed them to force the ball over the line with a maul of their own.

Ely reacted quickly, Matt McCarthy going over for his second of the day, but they couldn’t prevent the hosts from keeping in touch with a further score.

Regrouping after the break, Ely showed a strong defensive line and Mersea were unable to register any further points.

The Tigers, however, added two more tries. The first came from a penalty move in which Mitchell Kennet burst through a gap in the Mersea defence and touched down. The second came from an aggressive Ely defence which forced Mersea to drop the ball, Tom Jackson fly-hacked for Scott Paul to pick up and score under the posts.