Tigers Squeezed Out In Tense Final
PUBLISHED: 17:25 27 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 May 2010
ELY Tigers Third XV were denied glory in their Greene King Cup Final last weekend as they were agonizingly beaten 22-17 by Upper Clapton. Hopes were high for Ben Brownlie s side coming into the game following a hugely successful season, but they fell sh
ELY Tigers Third XV were denied glory in their Greene King Cup Final last weekend as they were agonizingly beaten 22-17 by Upper Clapton.
Hopes were high for Ben Brownlie's side coming into the game following a hugely successful season, but they fell short of victory despite a gargantuan effort that could well have seen them take the game in the dying minutes.
Captain Brownlie said: "It was a very hard game against a very good side. It was a shame to lose, but you can't take anything away from the lads. They can leave the field with their heads held high. It was a good game and the end to a great season"
Ely were determined to play hard from the outset and took the game to Clapton from the kick off, keen to test their opponents resolve. Such was the scale of the pressure that, not long into the opening quarter, the ever marauding Magnus Woodroffe crashed home for the first try.
Clapton came back strong following what was a veritable blitzkrieg from Ely and they began to make full use of their leviathan-like backs to break through the Ely defence. A flurry of scores soon followed from Clapton and they moved into a 10-5 lead.
Ely were not to be outdone in the half however, and several good phases of play led to a quick ball off the back of a ruck finding Chris Jones on the blind side. He hit his opposite number low, and snaked over the line to tie the scores 10-10 at the break.
The second half saw relentless pressure put on the Ely end with Brownlie's men forced into defending worthy of classical epic to keep Clapton at bay. All their hard work was undone in a few moments of controversy however, as what appeared to be a forward pass on the Ely 22, seen by the referee's assistant but waved on by the referee himself, allowed Clapton to break to move into a 17-10 lead.
For a while this seemed to have broken the Tigers spirit and Clapton went over for one more unconverted try in the corner, but, with the stomach for one last assault, Ely fought back and controlled the last ten minutes of the game, scoring once more to bring the scores irresistibly close.
But, despite the upped tempo of the last few minutes and Ely maintaining their momentum, they were not able to make the final breakthrough and the match ended 22-17 to Clapton.