Rugby round-up: Injury woe as Union triumph

PUBLISHED: 12:49 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 11:28 04 May 2010

Ely 5 Norwich Union 27 After a tough cup game the weekend before, Ely were looking forward to the league game against Norwich anticipating a more evenly-contested match. The game commenced with the worst possible start, Ely fumbling the kick-off allowing

Ely 5 Norwich Union 27

After a tough cup game the weekend before, Ely were looking forward to the league game against Norwich anticipating a more evenly-contested match.

The game commenced with the worst possible start, Ely fumbling the kick-off allowing Norwich to exert pressure which led to a converted try.

An injury to Lee Kupyn saw a reshuffle in the back row before a break by Stacey Mould led to Ely camped on the opposition try line, but an error conceded possession. Failure to score cost Ely as they conceded the next score. Then after Ely sustained more pressure Ricky Neale was unlucky not to score when he had the ball kicked out off his hands while diving for the line.

A few minutes later centre Karim Faisali was held up two metres short of the try line and Ely were unable to recycle the ball.

Ely conceded two further tries and a penalty, before losing a player to the sin-bin and scrum-half Eifion Davies to a knee injury. Replacement Dan Coulson, back from a long injury, looked threatening and when prop Michael Mcdougall was introduced, Ely started to play some good rugby, the best of which came in the last 10 minutes.

This culminated in Carl Ward entering the line at pace brushing aside two defenders before passing to Neale, who drove through the last defender to score.

Unfortunately Ely lost Ward to injury from the restart, when he was accidentally kicked in the back. After using all their substitutes, Ely were left to play the last five minutes with 14 men and too large a deficit to overcome, the final score being a 27-5 loss.

Ely II 30 Saffron Walden II 15

ON a lovely spring-like day, Ely Tigers entertained Saffron Walden II XV in the Merit Table, the only side to have given them serious problems this season.

Ely kicked off but Saffron Walden caught the ball and ran through Ely and scored for a very early 5-0 lead.

Saffron Walden continued to dominate possession but very slowly the Tigers began to counter the opposition attack and probe into their defensive weaknesses.

However Ely's handling was poor and lost them certain tries and, when they lost possession because of a forward pass, Saffron Walden scored their second try to lead 10-0.

Still the Tigers kept improving. Matt Daybell kicked a penalty then ran around the defence to score in the corner for 10-8. The Tigers piled on the pressure but Saffron Walden defended well until half-time.

In the second half, the Tigers lineout improved and the scrum began to move forward. Ely had moved into the opposition half when a Saffron Walden line-out throw was caught by Sean Kennett who twisted, ran and broke through the Saffron Walden line-out and made it all the way to the try-line. This 50-metre solo effort gave the Tigers a lead, 13-10 for the first time.

A little later the Tigers forwards rolled a line-out ball and Sean Kennett peeled off and dived to score. Soon it was the forwards again as they pushed back a scrum and Chris Ball touched down for 25-10.

However the opposition were well-drilled and when they got an opportunity, scored again to reduce the lead to 20-15.

The ferocity of the game, especially some of Joe Schwaab's tackles, was causing injuries to both sides. With little time remaining Saffron Walden kicked long for territory where Kieran Kennett caught it and countered. He kicked high and long behind the opposition defence, won the race to the ball and beat the cover to score.

St Ives Under-14s 23 Ely Tiger-14s 5

THIS was a difficult game for the Tiger-14s playing on a small sloping pitch on a cold morning against a very good, motivated team.

Bobby Kerr scored Ely's only try.

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