Tigers lay down marker with emphatic win

Ely Tigers 46 Harwich & Dovercourt 16

ELY Tigers produced one of their performances of the season on Saturday to thrash high-flyers Harwich & Dovercourt.

Karl Hayler’s men ran rampant over their Eastern Counties League opponents, who could do little as the home side produced an outstanding display of attacking rugby that yielded eight tries.

The win moved Ely up into fourth place in the league, ahead of their trip to Mersea Island on Saturday.

The Tigers, dressed in pink to mark The Minster pub’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day, needed less than 10 minutes to run over their first try of the afternoon, as the visitors were caught flat-footed.

Two well-taken penalties put Harwich back in the game as the match briefly turned scrappy, but some excellent phases put together by the home side saw the pressure begin to build as the half wore on.

With 10 minutes left to play, Ely forced a turnover and broke at pace as Harwich were still committed to the breakdown. A chip into space was gratefully gathered by the home side as they crashed over to extend their lead once more.

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With daylight established between the two teams, Ely began to take over, though their next try came somewhat fortuitously.

A penalty kick cannoned onto a post and down into the path of the surprised Tigers line, who made the most of their good luck as they powered over for a third try.

The nail in the coffin for the visitors came on the stroke of half-time as another lightning break from Ely from halfway saw the gaps in the Harwich defence exploited for a fourth try.

A penalty kick awarded to Ely just two minutes after the break may have been spurned but they needed less than five minutes to make amends as they some quick ball allowed the home side to run over in the corner for the first try of the half.

The visitors started to find their feet in the game in the aftermath of Ely’s fifth try and they produced some of their best rugby of the match. A period of excellent pick and drive rugby eventually paid dividends for Harwich as they ran over a try.

With Harwich much improved in possession, Ely found points hard to come by but they stuck well to their task and finally collected their reward with 10 minutes left as a kick and chase bounced kindly for Ely to slide over try number six.

Fatigue began to take its toll on Harwich in the closing minutes and some pacey breaks from the home side, yielded two more tries in what was an excellent day’s work.