Tigers claw back points after shaky start at Thurston


- Credit: Archant

Rugby Thurston 10 Ely Tigers 49

Ely Tigers got back to winning ways with a crushing victory at bottom-of-the-league side Thurston Rangers, on Saturday.

Following last week’s disappointing defeat at the hands of table-topping Southwold, Ely were back on form again and ran over seven tries in a dominant performance.

The win keeps Lloyd Palmer’s side in second place in the Eastern Counties Division 1, three points behind the leaders and a point clear of third-placed Ipswich YM.

Thurston started Saturday’s contest on the front foot and disrupted any possession the Tigers had. Fifteen minutes of play finally ended in a score when Thurston had a penalty kick under the posts. The kick was scuffed and Ely decided to run it out of their twenty-two.

Thurston turned the ball over in the following ruck and exploited a gap down the blindside to touch down for a converted try in the corner.

Soon after, Ely conceded another penalty in their twenty-two for hands in the ruck and there was no mistake from the hosts this time as they moved into a 10-lead.

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Ely responded well and capitalised on a line-out deep in Thurston territory. The throw was caught and brought down for a rolling maul, with Ricky Neale leading at the back.

The Ely forwards dominated Thurston and drove them over their own line for Neale to score a converted try.

Before the end of the half, Ely’s Charlie Coupland cut through the opposition defence and offloaded inside to Sam Benzie, who touched down for a converted try under the posts.

The second half was a one-sided affair as Ely’s fitness shone through. Man of the match Mark Ryder touched down for his first score early on.

Not long after, Joel Scott Paul took a quick tap penalty and passed to Ryder who dived under the posts for a converted try.

Ely forced their way into the opposition twenty-two and won a scrum. The ball was picked from the back by Ryder and offloaded to winger David Bainsfair, who crashed over in the corner for a converted try.

Ryder completed his hat-trick when he picked from the back of a ruck and sprinted straight through the defence and touched down.

The final score came a few minutes before the end when Coupland broke the line again and offloaded for McCarthy.