Tigers tamed in season opener

CANTABRIGIANS proved too strong for Ely in their opening game of the league season as they slipped to a 17-7 loss.


CANTABRIGIANS proved too strong for Ely in their opening game of the league season as they slipped to a 17-7 loss.

A strong showing in pre-season raised hopes of a flying start to Ely’s league campaign but Karl Hayler’s side came up against a resilient Cantabs side, who made the most of their strong forward pack to secure a battling win.

With Ely missing three players due to injury, a tough afternoon was expected against the notoriously competitive Cambridge side.

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Ely were under pressure staright from the start as the large Cantabs forward pack put a very effective line out drive into operation, causing Ely to defend hard on their own line.

Ely were able to clear their lines but not effectively enough and mid way through the half Cantabs scored from a maul pushed over the line. Ely then came to life, and although lacking their usual shape and attacking punch were able to make head way into the Cantabs half. After a period of broken play Ben Forteath was able to step the Cantabs full back and score under the posts, Ed Fahy kicked the extras and Ely went into a 7-5 lead.

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The game restarted and once again Cantabs dominated set piece and line out play towards the end of the half which paid dividends as they again collected a line-out and drove over the line.

The second half saw some heroic defence from Ely to keep the gargantuan Cantabs side at bay. Try saving tackles from Joel Scot Paul and Kieran Kennet kept the score honest and the defensive commitment from the Ely side was clear. Most of the second half was played between the two sides 22 metre lines until 10 minutes from time when Cantabs put together a backs move that saw their Fijian centre run into space and out pace the Ely defence to score, the try was unconverted and left the score at 17 – 7 to the home side.

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