Sloppy Ely allow Norwich to take win

ELY Tigers squandered a comfortable lead to lose to mid-table Norwich Crusaders on Saturday.

Karl Hayler’s side raced into an 11 point lead after a blistering performance in the first half but frittered away all their hard work in a lacklustre second period that saw Norwich take the points.

The loss sees the Tigers remain in sixth place with the visit of Southwold to contend with at the weekend.

Ely fielded two changes to the side that beat Harwich and Dovercourt last week, with Jack Brownlie coming in for an absent Dan Coulson and development squad winger Charlie Coupland standing in for the injured Kevin Houghton.

Norwich took the game to Ely early on and began to attack hard, with only some resilient defending keeping the visitors from taking the lead. The Tigers soaked up the pressure well and when they finally broke they made good ground through John Dibb and Sean Kennett.

As the half wore on, Ely continued to come to the fore and, lead by captain Hayler, they continually managed to win ball against the head. Ely continued to press on until finally scrum half Jack Brownlie took a snipe off the back of a ruck and wrestled hard to touch the ball down for the first try.

As the half came to a close Ely slotted a further two penalties through Jamie Russell.

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Ely maintained their intensity early on in the second half but were met by a refreshed Crusaders side who, as the half progressed, were able to take advantage of an increasingly disjointed looking Ely side to score twice in five minutes.

The setback did serve to bring the home side back to life, but some errant passing and basic handling errors meant the home side were never able to get back on terms. Ely Standard man of the match was Jack Brownlie.