Southwould suffer title blow after conceding late try at Ely
- Credit: Archant
A last-minute try and conversion for Ely saw promotion-chasing Southwold slide to a painful defeat against the side immediately below them in the table.
It was a hard pill to swallow for the visitors, who had seemingly done enough to win a gruelling encounter that saw them receive two yellow cards after getting their noses in front after 35 minutes.
Ely opened the scoring after a cleverly disguised throw from a line-out led to a great try in the corner.
The score remained the same until Ely were penalised for coming in from the side and Sammy Harmer popped the ball over to reduce the arrears.
The hosts then knocked over a penalty of their own but five minutes before the break Harmer made a great tackle and Jacob English anticipated the pass and intercepted to sprint away and score under the Ely posts.
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Harmer duly converted and then added his second penalty to put the visitors 13-8 at the break.
The start of the second half saw Wold pile on the pressure for 10 minutes but they could not turn it in to serious points and had to settle for another Harmer penalty.
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The 8-16 lead was to prove too little and in the 55th minute Ely were awarded a penalty and kicked for the corner.
Chris Aldous was serving 10 minutes in the sin bin and the man short proved too much for Wold, with Ely's forwards driving forward until they eventually scored a well deserved try in the corner which went unconverted.
It was now a three-point game and with Aldous back on the pitch it seemed Wold would stay strong for the win but a second yellow card for Milo Cawkwell for handling on the ground again saw Ely with a man advantage.
The clock ticked over on to the 80th minute and Ely were awarded another penalty and again kicked for the corner. They won good ball, drove and drove at the visiting pack and eventually scored another try. This time the kick was good and Ely had nicked the win.
Rivals Stowmarket beat Crusaders 37-20 at home and that bonus point win sees Southwold trail them by four, having gained a losing bonus point.