Tigers back in the swing at St Ives

PUBLISHED: 10:46 23 August 2011

ELY Tigers kicked off their pre-season campaign with a narrow 31-29 victory over St Ives.

ELY Tigers kicked off their pre-season campaign with a narrow 31-29 victory over St Ives.

In true pre-season style the club took along a mixed team of players, including development squad regular Sam Smith, newcomer Chris Pearson and many others.

St Ives also arrived with a large squad of players and after some consultation a game featuring one half of 40 minutes and three subsequent periods of 20 minutes was agreed upon in order to accommodate all players.

The game kicked off with both teams fielding first choice selections and a period of end-to-end rugby ensued as both teams fought to blow out the cobwebs of the summer break. The home side struck first seizing opportunities from mistakes made by the Tigers to score twice and leave a rusty looking Ely side stunned. This however, only served to galvanise the away side into action and a period of pressure and organised attack saw newcomer Chris Pearson cross to score after some great support play. Mitchell Kennett added a second shortly after with a typical unstoppable drive over the line. Ely finished the half 14–12 ahead.

The 20 minute periods of play after half-time saw both sides make wholesale changes. This caused the game to fragment as both sides adjusted to the changes. Notable performances throughout this period came from Sam Smith in the front row, Mitch Kennett in the second row with two tries, Chris Pearson in the back row and at centre, Jack Brownlie who bagged himself a great opportunist finish and Charlie Coupland who had a solid game in the wing.

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