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London 3 Eastern Counties leaders West Norfolk get the better of Ely Tigers

Ely Tigers suffered a 29-14 home defeat at the hands of London 3 Eastern Counties leaders West Norfolk on Saturday.

The game – played at Cambridge Commodities Park – started with both sides being unable to get a firm grip on the match, with the majority of the game played around the halfway line.

The first scoring chance came in the 20th minute when a penalty against the home team saw West Norfolk opt to kick for points – from just inside the halfway line – but it was wayward and just dropped to the left of the posts.

Jake Alsop scores opening try for Ely Tigers against West Norfolk on December 7, 2019. Picture: Steve Wells (23793434)
Jake Alsop scores opening try for Ely Tigers against West Norfolk on December 7, 2019. Picture: Steve Wells (23793434)

Soon after, and somewhat against the run of play, Tigers opened the scoring.

A kick forward by Matt McCarthy was gathered up by the West Norfolk backs, who chose to kick forward. But charging the kick down was Jake Alsop and he gathered up the rebound unchallenged to race forward to score the opening try before going on to add the extras.

From the restart, West Norfolk came back into the game and after initially being rebuffed by some solid Ely defending they got themselves level with a converted try.

And just before the break the visitors got themselves in front, despite Ely claiming the West Norfolk winger had been out of play before releasing the ball.

With the game in the balance, the next score in the second half was always going to be crucial and it went the way of the table toppers.

They broke clear from the rear of the scrum to cross the try line, with the subsequent conversion giving them a commanding lead.

That advantage was soon extended with another try in the corner, although on this occasion the conversion was missed.

A penalty put West Norfolk 29-7 in front to rubber stamp their superiority before Ely had the final say on proceedings with a late try.

A break from Luke Cornwell, Jim Storey and Ryan Clark saw the ball worked out wide to Joel Scott Paul, who eventually went over in the corner.

The result leaves third-placed Ely 13 points behind their conquerors ahead of their final game of the year on Saturday at Cantabrigian (2pm).

* For the second time this season, Newmarket were given the points from their encounter with Shelford III because the opposition were unable to raise a side.

Newmarket, who are currently second in the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties 1 West standings, will be hoping for some time on the pitch against Bury St Edmunds III on Saturday (2pm).