Woodbridge 8th in Eastern Counties League versus Ely RFC in 3rd place promised to be intriguing after their defeat of Wisbech last week.
The match started with pressure from Ely grub-kicking for territory. Woodbridge suffered a number of penalties allowing Ely winger Joel Scott Paul to kick 3 points. Woodbridge countered through winger Isaac Feavearyear who charged up the left wing. Aggressive rucking enabled Woodbridge to contain Ely’s response despite repeated penalties. Play seemed to suit the home team as it became open which allowed them to challenge on the wing and force clearance kicks and loss of possession. Woodbridge however suffered some loose hands by Feavearyear and Aldis Salavejs on the try line. But Ely No 8 Jacob Muncey wasn’t having any of it and countered repeatedly as Woodbridge dropped to 14 men. The Warriors pushed hard through Dan Knights and Salavejs forcing a penalty where Jack Johnson took 3 points to level the match. Several cross-field moves played to Woodbridge’s strength and allowed Jake Hateley to score wide, Johnson converted. Woodbridge attacked again, returning clearance kicks with interest Johnson consolidated and, through the backs, got the ball to Feavearyear who scored.
Ely attacked from the restart, Muncey charging aggressively up to the home 22 and forcing some tough defence but winning a penalty from which scrum-half Ash Clark went quickly and fed hooker Jim Storey who scored. Ely continued to push but Woodbridge sustained its open play, kicked for space and chased hard to keep its territorial gains JP Hart kicked and charged as usual. Eley dominated in the scrum but to little advantage, Woodbridge moving the ball quickly. Ely lineout was solid thanks to flanker Lori Martin but Woodbridge rucked well, stealing ball, intercepting and running wide. Joel Scott-Paul tried some runs up the wing, Woodbridge was forced to defend deep in its 22 clearing to Ely’s 10m line, getting a penalty which Johnson missed. Moments later he had a second chance which he took giving Ely the challenge of two scores. Ely fought hard through Muncey but a long pass was intercepted by the ever-alert Johnson who scored and converted. The last 10 minutes saw Ely fight hard to come back, forcing penalties but Woodbridge won a scrum against the head and countered through their centres to hold them at bay and take the win lifting them 2 places.
Woodbridge Warriors 25 v Ely 8