RUGBY UNION: Ely Tigers lift the Percy Walker Cup thanks to narrow win over St Ives

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS - Credit: Archant

Ely Tigers claimed the perfect warm-up for the beginning of the league season last weekend – but were made to work hard for it.

Chris Offley drives forward. Photo: STEVE WELLS

Chris Offley drives forward. Photo: STEVE WELLS - Credit: Archant

The Tigers edged St Ives Bulls by a single point – 28-27 - to retain the Percy Walker Cup for a second year on Saturday.

But Ely’s cup-winning display got off to a slow start with St Ives running in two tries and a penalty to wrack up a 15-point lead.

Ely reduced the arrears before half time thanks to a converted try from Jim Storey before Chris Offley completed the turnaround in the second period after he dotted down following a surging run.

The hosts moved ahead once again with a third try but tired from then on – and Ely took full advantage.

John Dibb in action. Photo: STEVE WELLS

John Dibb in action. Photo: STEVE WELLS - Credit: Archant

Charlie Coupland broke through a gap and offloaded to debutant Jake Alsop who touched down for a converted try but the Tigers were pegged back once again before captain Joe Scott Paul notched the final try of the afternoon after finding space on the wing.

Ely’s trophy-winning exploits will set them up well for their opening London Eastern Counties Division clash with Woodbridge on September 9.

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS - Credit: Archant

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS - Credit: Archant

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS - Credit: Archant

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS - Credit: Archant

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS - Credit: Archant

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS - Credit: Archant

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS - Credit: Archant

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS

Action from Ely Tigers pre-season clash with St Ives. Photo: STEVE WELLS - Credit: Archant