London 3 Eastern Counties
Ely 28 West Norfolk 6
West travelled to Ely on Saturday after a week’s break due to the weather conditions.
West knew they were in for a tough game with Ely flying high in third, recently beating Southwold who are in contention for promotion.
West had to make a number of changes due to unavailabilities with a number of second team players stepping up for their debuts in the 1st XV.
West started brightly on a very wet pitch with strong carries from No 8 Ben Flores and lock Rory O’Sullivan.
Ely turned up the heat applying pressure on West’s defence with their organised back line. However some courageous tackles from the returning Neil Langley and full back Mark Tilbrook prevented Ely from opening their account.
In turn, West went on to apply pressure of their own resulting in two penalities in the Ely half, both converted by fly half Sam Moses. Ely then opened their account as a lapse in concentration from a quick penalty cost West, with the Ely winger scoring in the corner. A further try from the Ely forwards using their pick- and-go game came soon after, putting West on the back foot going into half-time.
West attempted to regroup at half-time, however ill discipline from both teams resulted in four yellow cards throughout the second half, both teams receiving two each for varying offences.
With a deteriorating pitch and some scrappy play, Ely went on to capitalise on a tired West team, scoring two more tries to finish the game.
MoM: Mark Tilbrook.
Skipper Paul Bridges said: “Despite the score our performance wasn’t bad today.
“Some of our defence was very good and I was pleased to see all players making their tackles. However we wanted to put pressure on Ely with our line-speed which we executed in the first half, but fitness cost us in the second.
“Ill-discipline was also an issue which affected our performance but is something we will deal with at training.
“I was very proud of the lads from the 2nds who stepped up. They all gave a fantastic account of themselves.
“This was very pleasing to see as a few guys are unavailable next week for our re-arranged game vs Southwold at home.”
Elsewhere West 2nds lost 22-5 at home to Holt 2s.