Last-gasp miss means Wisbech draw derby

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Eastern Counties League 1

Wisbech 10 Ely 10

The first half was influenced by the heavy rain with both sides making handling errors, slowing the play down.

After 20 minutes of relentless defence Wisbech were finally able to get hold of the ball and made good yards. William Malkin missed a long penalty kick but Ely also missed a penalty.

The second half started very much like the first. Again the Wisbech defence held firm as full back Nick Esser made a vital tackle.

Cue a moment of controversy as although an Ely penalty was missed the referee gave the Ely kicker a second bite of the cherry in response to a whistle from the crowd.

Ely opened the scoreboard 3-0 but Malkin calmly slotted away a kick (3-3). Midway through the half captain Ben Prestidge released the ball to Lewis Newman who raced away to score in the corner.

Malkin was successful with the conversion from the touchline to open up a healthy lead of 10-3 in an otherwise close affair. Wisbech just couldn’t find the final pass to finish them off.

With time running out, Wisbech made their second mistake in defence as the Ely fullback sliced through to score a decisive try and easy conversion (10-10).

With the final play of the match Ely gave away another breakdown penalty on the 10m line and gave James Malkin the opportunity to take the win. In the wet conditions, the kick was narrowly missed.

Scrum-half William Malkin and James Bunton were outstanding but the man-of-the-match match award went to the pack for an outstanding collective forward display.

“Rugby can be a cruel game as we played really well only to draw at the death. Our defence was outstanding and I am really proud of the boys,” said coach Leonard Veenendaal.

Wisbech will have a bye this weekend before facing Woodbridge at home on November 7.