Rugby: Tigers topple the opposition

Ely Tigers 19 Dereham 3 THE Tigers returned to league action on a clear, crisp but bitterly cold day, welcoming an in-form Dereham side who were second in the league. About 15 minutes into the match, Ely conceded a penalty which was kicked for a 3-0 lead

Ely Tigers 19

Dereham 3

THE Tigers returned to league action on a clear, crisp but bitterly cold day, welcoming an in-form Dereham side who were second in the league.

About 15 minutes into the match, Ely conceded a penalty which was kicked for a 3-0 lead.

From kick-off Ely lost winger Tim Mills and almost immediately prop Mike McDougall was sent to the sin-bin for persistent offences at the breakdown. However Ely weathered the 10 minutes without conceding further points.

Ely were awarded a scrum as a result of their pressure, which was collapsed twice under huge pressure from the Ely pack. On the third reset, number-eight Dan Pike picked-up and tore in to the Dereham defence and drove over the line for a narrow 5-3 half-time lead.

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Ely continued the second-half where they left off. Almost immediately Dan Pike was in the action again. Picking-up from the base of a ruck midway into the Dereham half, he broke blind feeding Ed Fahy who was hauled down yards short of the line.

However, Dan Pike had continued his run and was on hand to receive the off-load and cantered over for his second try. Ed Fahy converted to make the scoreline 12-3.

Dereham started to come back hard but the impressive Ely defence stood firm. A further sin-bin was given against Ely's second row Mark Mitzman who was deemed to exert a late challenge.

From an Ely line-out the ball was moved to the midfield area and quick ball secured after a series of pick and drives. From one of these, Lee Kupyn drove over the line for Ely's third try which was converted by Fahy for a 19-3 lead.

Although Dereham threw everything at the Ely defence in the final few minutes the game had been sealed as Ely's determination to keep their line untouched was immense.

Shelford III 24

Ely Tigers II 59

ELY II attacked with gusto and skill all game on Saturday, and began with Matt Daybell kicking a penalty. However Shelford scored immediately, courtesy of some poor Ely tackling, to take the lead 7-3.

The Tigers took charge from here with offloads and penetrating runs from all the team. Firstly flanker Sean Kennett dived through a seeming shield of defence to score at fingertip stretch. Then number-eight, Chris Ball, picked up and drove from a scrum opening a gap for Sean Kennett to cut through the opposition and pass to his brother Kieran, who outpaced the defence.

Next it was Vic Cato who pounced on the loose ball releasing the counter-attack from which Sean Kennett sidestepped and outpaced the defence. The Tigers' defence was culpable again for Shelford to close the score to 20-12.

The Tigers kicked off, Shelford fumbled, and the Tigers' speedy winger, Graham Park, picked up the bouncing ball on the run to score.

The Ely scrum took control and inched forward towards a push-over try before Shelford collapsed as their prop was injured and could not continue. So for the fifth time this season, the Tigers' opposition claimed uncontested scrums. Nevertheless the Tigers maintained pressure and won a penalty which Matt Daybell kicked for a half-time lead of 30-12.

Shelford cut the lead soon into the half but the Tigers went on the rampage ending with David Lloyd scoring. Then a lovely attack and support move released Sean Kennett to score from short range for his hat-trick and a 40-19 lead.

The shaky Ely defence was to blame again for another Shelford score, but when Gareth Mills caught a scrambled clearance kick, he sent a long pass infield to Keiran Kennett.

His pace outstripped the defence for a wonderful solo try before repeating the move for his hat-trick. Finally Sean Humble scored the ninth try and closed the game, with Matt Daybell kicking four conversions.

Old Cantabridgans XV 17

Ely III 12

ELY travelled to Sedley Taylor Road for a friendly match against Cantabs.

The game kicked off and settled quickly into a pattern as both teams knew each other's packs well. Early in the first half the Tigers took the lead with some fine handling which let Joel Scott-Paul in for his first and a very well-taken try.

He converted his own efforts so Ely led 7-0. At this point, a long sequence of awarded penalties eventually let Cantabs score for 7-5.

The second half brought more of the same but shortly after, Rob Lowe stole loose Cantabs ball the Ely backs cut though the Cantabs back line for Chris Jones to run 40 metres to score. Then like a re-run of the first half, Cantabs eventually scored after a succession of penalties for 12-10.

The final stages of the game seesawed and even with the huge penalty count against them, Ely's young backs stopped everything that came their way.

Eventually Ely succumbed to a Cantabs try after another succession of penalties, for a final score of 17-12 to Cantabs.