Not as bad as the score suggests for rugby club
By JIm Morgan at Ely on Tuesday, 1st February 2011.
GREENE KING EASTERN COUNTIES RUGBY LEAGUE DIVISION ONE: Ely 62 Haverhill 5, match report.
Haverhill travelled the relatively short distance to Ely with a full team and a large group of hardy support that outshouted the Ely support throughout.
Haverhill attacked from the off, but a bit of shenanigans, which could have led to Haverhill being a man down within a minute, led to a penalty penetrating deep into the Haverhill half.
Haverhill overturned the line, but passed back into their 22m and kicked the ball straight out, adding unnecessary pressure. This time Ely made good their previous loss and quick ball in the line led to the outside centre crossing the line for a converted try for 7-0.
Undaunted, Haverhill came back and won two penalties within a few minutes, both of which slipped just past the right upright. 7-6 would have made a different game of things.
Ely were showing some good moves, but regularly dropped the ball and the consensus of opinion was that the gap between the teams was quite small.
On ten minutes, prop Alex Wong was led off the park with an injured shoulder, causing Paul Bergin to move up to the front row and Rickie Brown to drop into the open side flanker position.
Haverhill were guilty all through the game of kicking too deep from restarts or not finding touch on winning good ball near their line. This led to the second try on 25 minutes where, after some sustained Ely pressure, the ball was spun wide from the clearance. A lucky bounce and the Ely winger crossed for 12-0. The try was not converted.
A further unconverted try and then a penalty on the stroke of half-time hag Ely 20-0 up at the turn.
Haverhill pressurised from the restart and this caused Ely to make some very bad mistakes, but Haverhill were not able to capitalise. Ricky Smith, playing his second game for the club, put in two great tackles from an Ely break out but slowly the pressure started to tell.
Haverhill were penalised three times on the line and skipper Chris Flannery, wearing the hat in the absence of injured skipper Hope, was talked to with the threat of a penalty try and a spell in the bin for the next offender. On 55 minutes the pressure broke and Ely crossed the line for a converted try.
Haverhill refused to give up, with all the team working hard with Jackson, Cooper and Bergin regularly in the mix.
On 60 minutes, Ely crossed the line again for 32-0 and Neil Richards replaced the limping Smith.
Fitness started to tell and Ely added a further two converted tries, but Haverhill continued to play some good rugby.
With nine minutes left, Brad Gibson stopped an Ely attack on the line, but was penalised and carded for holding on to the ball.
Ely added another two converted tries to make the score 62-0, but the side refused to give in and it was a great pleasure to the travellers when, after some sustained pressure, Bergin crossed the line to get Haverhill onto the scoresheet.
The kick was missed and the whistle went for the end of the game.
Haverhill host runaway leaders Stowmarket next week and will hope to keep the score as low as possible.
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