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Ely Tigers take top spot in London 3 Eastern Counties after 22-3 win against Thurston

Ely Tigers have moved to the top of London 3 Eastern Counties after beating strugglers Thurston 22-3 at the weekend.

TRY SCORER: Matt McCarthy weaves his way past before crossing the line
TRY SCORER: Matt McCarthy weaves his way past before crossing the line

The Tigers knew the first 20 minutes was going to be hard work when they kicked off into the wind, and repeated infringements kept the hosts pinned back in their 22.

Ely’s defensive line held strong, which forced Thurston to opt for the posts and take the three points.

Ely then had a period of possession and Matt McCarthy darted in under the posts for a converted try.

Moments later, the Tigers were on the attack again, and the ball was shifted wide to winger Paul Dewey, who dived over in the corner.

In the second half, Thurston’s only chance of points came from a shot at goal which fell short, while the home side put in a clever kick which bounced into touch on the opposition five metre line.

Thurston overthrew it and Scott MacFarlane was gifted a try, which put Ely 17-3 in front.

The bonus point try came when a quick tap penalty went through hands to Luke Turner, who ran in unscathed.

Ely had several opportunities to pull further clear, but failed to finish them, as the score finished 22-3 in their favour.

The Tigers had gone into the weekend one point behind leaders Wymondham, and two points clear of third-placed Holt.

In the league’s game of the day, Holt edged out Wymondham 18-16, which meant Ely’s bonus-point success pushed them to the top of the table.

The Tigers now face a crucial run of fixtures in their title challenge, with a trip to now second placed Wymondham today (2.30pm).

Ely will then travel to third-placed Holt for their next league fixture on Saturday, March 2.