Ely Tigers travelled to Norwich based Crusaders on Saturday with a much changed side, but they still came away with the points following a 43-17 win.
The opening try came inside the first five minutes when Erwin Noteboom found himself in space to place the ball down over the try line, with Joel Scott Paul adding the extra points, on 15 minutes Tigers went down to 14 men when Noteboom was shown a yellow, as expected the home side applied pressure to the Ely back line during this time, but it was Tigers that extended the league, an overthrown ball from a Crusaders line out was picked up by Chris McGrath, who decided to kick the ball forward and chase his own kick, the ball bounced between two home players, but kindly for Jim Storey who was able to race towards the try line unchallenged, the conversion was missed as Ely went into a 12-0 lead, the home sides best chance came on the half hour mark, but the final pass with the try line in sight was dropped and collected and cleared by Ely, with half time approaching the home side finally got n the scoreboard with a converted try.
The second half, with Ely playing up the slope, started strongly for Tigers, again a kick forward from McGarth bounced into the hands of captain Matt McCarthy who was able to go over to extend the lead, with Scoot Paul adding the extra points, from the restart Ely switched off as Crusaders went on the attack, and replied straight away with a try in the corner, the conversion was missed, but the gap was only 7 points now.
The second seemed to be, you score, and we’ll score, as again directly from the restart, the try line was crossed once again, as Byron Reed, making his first start of the season for the first team, chased down and block a kick from Crusaders, the ball bounced back towards the try line, both Reed and the home player missed the ball, but following up was Storey who dived over the line to add his second try of the afternoon, the conversion was missed, Ely seemed once more to go up a gear, with Jacob Muncey the next player on the score sheet, proving to powerful for the home side as he brushed aside tackles to come in off the wing to score under the posts, for Scott Paul to add the extra points, Scott Paul then added a try to his name, again Reed was involved, with the ball finally reaching Scott Paul who went over the try line, but he was unable to convert his own try.
After a flurry of points, Ely then had to defend as Crusaders pinned the Tigers in their half, the defence stood firm and held up Crus a number of times, finally winning a penalty so gain some much needed meters, however another penalty conceded so the ball back in the danger area and again Crusaders piled on the pressure, from a scrum Tigers stole the ball, but play was brought back due to a knock on, but again Tigers stood firm, eventually Ely stole the ball back and McCarthy was able to gain some meters with a kick into touch, with meters gained, Alfie Ramswell added a further try, with Mitch Kennett providing the finally pass for Ramswell to go over the line, under pressure, to score, with Scott Paul able to add the extra points, with the game coming to a close there was still time for one more try, and it came for the home side, again going over in the corner, the conversion was missed as the referee blew for full time as Tigers recorded a 43-17 win to stay third in the league.
Match report and Photographs Steve Wells