Tigers roar after a sluggish start

A BLISTERING second half salvo from Ely Tigers saw them to a rousing win over Southwold on Saturday.

Though Karl Hayler’s side played admirably to go in at the break with a narrow lead, their first half efforts paled in comparison to the second half in which they produced one of their performance’s of the season to record a sizeable win.

Though the victory sees them remain in sixth place in the Eastern Counties Division One, the gap to fifth-placed Southwold was narrowed to just five points with two games remaining this season.

Starting the match with the sun in their faces, the Tigers struggled to get into the game early on and fell behind after 10 minutes when Stowmarket ran over the opening try, which was quickly converted.

The home side pushed hard to restore parity from the restart and put their first points on the board just two minutes later courtesy of a penalty.

Ely continued to push forward after their penalty but some excellent defensive work from Southwold kept them at bay until the 30th minute when better handling work from debutante Rob Howliston found space out wide and put winger Tim Mills in the corner for the Tigers’ first try of the game.

Ely’s momentum continued unchecked into the second half and it took just two minutes for the home side to increase their lead, Rob Howliston finding a gap in the defence before crashing over the line to score.

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Cracks started to appear in the Southwold defence as the half rolled on and Ely moved still further ahead in the 65th minute as a stolen line out on Southwold’s 22-metre line allowed Mitchell Kennett to romp home from half way.

Another mistake from the Southwold’s forwards saw Kevin Houghton gobble up an errant pass and again run home from half way to put the points beyond doubt.

Ely finally began to slow down in the closing minutes and a touch of complacency allowed a wily Southwold side to steal in for a consolation try late on.