Defeat for Tigers in Suffolk, missed conversions prove costly

Ely Tigers travelled across to Suffolk to play Thurston, and like many games this season there was changes to the starting 15, in came Jim Storey, Luke Cornwell, Ryan Clark & Luke Turner, while Tom Green was missing due to injury picked up against Thetford the week before.

Like previous weeks the current gusting winds were going to have a hand in the game, with Tigers kicking off with the win behind them, which made controlling the kicks to touch more difficult, Tigers manged to get the first points on the board, after a succession of penalties resulted in Joel Scott Paul kicking for the points from close range in front of the posts, from a quickly taken penalty Ely broke once more with Charlie Coupland find Scott Paul to score, and complete the conversion as Ely opened an early lead.

The home side looked dangerous, and from a line out they looked to have found an opening, with a break forward, but under pressure the home side forward released the ball, straight into the arms in Scott Paul.

The wind was causing issues, with home side, inside of kicking into touch they were taking quick tap penalties, looking to catch Ely of guard and gain yards, and they finally were able to find tough for a line out, Ely failed to stop the maul as the home side went over for a try, leaving a difficult kick for the conversion, but the kick was successful, not long after the home side took the lead, from a break from their own half, helped by some missed and slipped tackles, Thurston crossed the try line to score, the conversion was missed, back came Ely, from a scrum the ball passed thru Ryan Clark, Jake Alsop, Scott Paul and finally Coupland who crossed the line to score, Scott Paul was unable to add the points from the conversion, Ely had the chance to add another try on the stroke of half time, but a handling error with the try line in sight handed the ball back to Thurston.

The second half saw the home side on the attack, with Ely unable to clear the ball, but they stood firm until a forced error by the home side gave the ball to Ely and a chance to clear, from another scrum, Ely lost the ball in the danger area, and Thurston walked the ball forward to go over for a try, with the conversion added, with Ely struggling to break out of their own half, the home side increased the lead with a kicked penalty in front of the posts.

A rare surge into the home sides half produced the best chance of the half for Tigers, the ball finally finding its way out on the wing to Grant Storey, with the try line looming the home side defence put in a last gasp tackle and with that tackle the ball popped out of Storey’s grasp in to touch for safety, the next attack saw Jacob Muncey make no mistake, like many time this season, he brushed aside the tackles to score just to the right of the posts, again the conversion was missed, with the final whistle about to blow, Ely had the last play of the game, and a scrum with again the try line in sight, but the scrum was held up as the home side hang on for the points.

Match report and photographs Steve Wells

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