Sat 14
1st XV
M Shucksmith, J Loader
B Hannam
Ely 33 – Beccles 12

Ely 33 – Beccles 12

By Keith Johnstone
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Beccles lost 33-13 in a tough first game of the season, on the road against Ely Tigers. London 3 Eastern Counties.

Newly promoted Beccles kicked off the start of their league campagin, travelling to Ely Tigers whom narrowly missed out on promotion last year, only three points off. Many spectators expecting Ely to whitewash and dominate Beccles.
It began with the Beccles Bulls receiving kick off, managing an exit strategy from inside their own third. Ely were able to gain possession in their own half and were able to run it straight back for their first try of the season. It came from poor spatial awareness from Beccles; being overly keen in the kick chase to cover the space out wide instead of the immediate danger in front of the ball carrier. Whom needed only a quick shimmey before the pitch opened up in front of him.
Only ten minutes had passed before the Tigers were able to get their second of the game, coming from a line break from inside Beccles' twenty-two. Soon, Ely were repeatedly breaking the Beccles line or on the cusp of it, great set piece moves in the backs being at the core of these bursts.
Beccles were able to get the ball back for periods during this first half but were unable to have lasting bouts of possession. The half was coming to an end when Ely were able to capitalise on some good forward momentum and able to run over for their third. The half time score was 19-0.
Poor tackling started becoming a factor for Beccles early on in the second half, leading to Elys' fourth try of the day. Only a handful of minutes had passed before another try had been conceded, this time off of a scrappy fifty-fifty high ball that ricocheted off into the anticipatory hands of the Ely number 8. The Bulls could of well dropped their heads at this ever growing score line but they were able to show some character and start stringing together some positive phases with the ball in hand.
Ely were beginning to flake due to the high intensity of the game and soon penalty after penalty were being awarded to the Beccles boys in green. Despite all the pressure being thrown at the Tigers, they were able to grab one last try through a good passing sequence outwide, finishing it with a quick ball inside. Making the score line 33-0 with twenty-five minutes of play left. But still Beccles were able to keep up significant pressure. All coming to a tipping point when after consecutive penalties, the Ely number 9 was awarded a yellow card for multiple infringements.
With the opposition down to fourteen men, Beccles were asserting their dominance. A couple of pick-and-go efforts on the Ely try line resulted in Beccles' first try of the new season, coming in the shape of the strong ball carrier and debutant Mike Shucksmith.
The Bulls were able to keep up the pressure, gaining a lot of possession in the process but being stalled frequently by a lack of ball security, whether in the form of knock-ons or turnovers. With fifteen minutes of play remaining, Ely were able to get a turnover five meters out from their own try line. They were set to clear their lines with a box kick but decided to sling it out wide instead. The ball ended up being fumbled in their own try area and Jake Loader of Beccles was able to touch it down for an easy try.
The penalties kept coming Beccles' way but were un
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Match details

Match date

Sat 14, Sep 2019




London 3 Eastern Counties

League position

MIke Shucksmith

Player of the match

MIke Shucksmith