Tigers hold on to take the points over Fakenham

Ely Tigers welcomed Fakenham to the Downham Road Field, knowing a win would keep the pressure on league leaders, Wymondham, having already beaten their opponents earlier in the season, the Tigers hoped to complete the double, naming a near full strength side, it was the visitors that took the game to Ely, however the home side defended strong, and on 7 minutes the breakthrough came, when Nathan Brooks fed the ball out to Matt McCarthy, who delayed the pass long enough to enable winger Luke Turner to cross the white line for the opening try, captain Joel Scott-Paul slotted over for the extra points, the visitors reacted moments later, a quick break let in Brett Stolworthy cross over in the corner, with the conversion being added to level up the scores.

The sides were level for a matter of minutes, Mitchell Kennett released Jacob Muncey who shrugged off the tackles to power over the line, up stepped Scott-Paul to add the extra points, kicking into the brisk wind, but the wind held the ball up as it hit the post, the next talking point came as the visitors went down to 14 men after a high tackle, from the resulting scrum Ely forced home their advantage as they moved the ball from left to right to allow Turner to add his second try of the afternoon, again the wind kept out the kick for the extra points, Ely added a further try to the scoreboard, when Charlie Coupland crossed over the try line, again Ely failed to add the extra points, with the visitors back to their full numbers, they came back at Ely, and they were the team that added the next points on the board, with another try, and with a wind assisted kick to add the extra points to make in 24-14 at the break.

The second half saw a similar start to the first, with the visitors on the front foot, on 46 minutes it was the home side that saw yellow, as McCarthy was sent to the sin-bin, but the man advantage lasted all of 3 minutes as yet another high tackle saw Fakenham reduced to 14 men, on the hour mark Fakenham closed the gap with another try and conversion, to bring the scores to 24-21, with time running out there was still time for the home side to add another try, with Scott-Paul crossing over the line right in the corner, the captain picked himself up to add the conversion to make the final score 31-21.

Match report and photo credit: Steve Wells

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