Tigers prey on struggling Thurston

Thurston 5 Ely Tigers 82


CHRISTMAS came a few weeks early for John Dibb’s Ely side as they ran in a sack-full of tries at lowly Thurston on Saturday.

The Eastern Counties Division 1 basement boys were thoroughly outclasses by merciless Ely, who ran in some 12 tries on a memorable day for the in-form Tigers, who have won their last three.

The victory moves them up into fourth place in the league, just three point behind second-placed Ipswich YM and with a trip to West Norfolk to come before the Christmas break.

Setting the tone early on, Ely found themselves 27 points in front within the first 15 minutes, the flurry started with a three-point kick from Sam Benzie after Thurston conceded a penalty in their twenty-two.

Ed Fahy scored the first converted try of the day after a wonderful support run to place over the line. Ely continued to push Thurston back into their twenty-two and there was further joy for Benzie, who slotted home another penalty before adding successful conversions to the tries scored by Sam Smith and Mitchell Kennett.

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As the half progressed, the Tigers retained almost total control over Thurston, with captain John Dibb giving Ely the bonus point lead after a strong run through the Thurston back line.

Lee Coulson was next on the list of try scorers, a magnificent supporting run and a thumping hand-off allowed him to score an unconverted try. Thurston kicked off and Ely were straight back into their twenty-two. Mitchell broke the line offloading to Matt Kelly who, with superb handling skills, plucked the ball from behind himself to run in another try. Joel Scott Paul converted to take the score at the end of the half to 46-0.

After the break, a well executed forward maul pushed from the hosts found its way over the line for a consolation try.

Ely responded strongly and excellent handling from the back line saw the ball passed out to Kevin Houghton on the wing, a magnificent dive seeing him placed the ball down in the corner.

Luke Cornwell was able to score two tries within minutes of each other before, in the final 15 minutes of the match, play started to become fragmented. Ely conceded a penalty for hands in the ruck; with Thurston opting to boot for touch.

The kick was short of the line and caught by Joel Scott Paul who ran down the wing, dummied his opposite number and scored. Thurston conceded two more tries in the last five minutes, Kennett and Fahy both scoring their second of the day. Man of the match went to debutant Sam Carr-Archer.