Title hopes fade as Tigers are beaten at Southwold

Mitchell Kennett

Mitchell Kennett - Credit: Archant

Rugby Southwold 29 Ely Tigers 20

Ely’s slim hopes of taking top spot in the league have all but disappeared after they were beaten by rivals Southwold, on Saturday.

Lloyd Palmer’s side needed to beat the Eastern Counties Division 1 leaders to stand any realistic hopes of reeling them in but a battling defeat saw them slip 20 points behind with eight games remaining.

The Tigers will have to refocus as they bid to retain second spot, with both Thetford and Wymondham within seven points.

Tries from Mitchell Kennett and Dan Coulson, together with a series of conversions from Joel Scott Paul, kept Ely in a strong position for much of the match.

But the power of the Southwold backs eventually told as they surged clear of Ely midway through the second half.

Ely will return to action on January 31 when they welcome Thurston to Downham Road.