Tigers’ league march checked by gritty Swaffham

Ely Tigers' Dan Coulson

Ely Tigers' Dan Coulson - Credit: Archant

Rugby Swaffham 21 Ely Tigers 17

Ely’s superb run of form came to an end on Saturday as they lost out to fellow championship hopefuls Swaffham.

Swaffham were faster out of the blocks and, within the first 20 minutes, Tigers were down 14 points after Swaffham scored two converted tries.

The first was well placed grubber-kick behind the Ely defence for the winger to run onto and the second was a quick pick-and-drive from the back of a ruck. Midway through the half, Ely finally woke up and started to fight back. Parked on the opposition try line for 10 minutes, John Dibb’s side managed to convert some points. Dan Coulson dived over the line with a sniping run from the back of a ruck and reduced Ely’s arrears going in at the break.

The Tigers continued to hold most of the possession in the second half. In the opposition twenty-two, man of the match Coulson found space down the blind and, after a 20-metre sprint, touched down in the corner.

Sam Benzie kicked the conversion. Ely looked strong contenders for a comeback until a well placed cross-field kick, from the Swaffham fly-half, fell into the hands of the winger which sprinted down the line to score a converted try.

Ely fought until the end and were able to get a losing bonus point when Benzie received the ball on the wing to place it down for an unconverted try in the corner.