West Norfolk 19
Playing in their first game of the season in new shirts sponsored by local brewers Elgood’s, Wisbech opened their account for the new season with an excellent bonus point win over local rivals West Norfolk in Eastern Counties Division One.
The win puts them fifth in the table after one match while the other participating teams have played two. Sadly, captain Tom Long will have several weeks on the touchline after picking up a nasty hand injury that may have to operated on this week.
James Napier crossed for the first try after six minutes after some good work through the backs. Andy Claydon was unsuccessful with the conversion attempt.
West Norfolk responded by levelling the scores after 15 minutes with an unconverted try of their own. Napier showed that he had lost none of his zip and scored to take a 10-5 lead, this was followed by a score by John Turner made by a barnstorming run by Ben Chapman.
West Norfolk narrowed the score to 15-10 and then 15-12 with a penalty shortly before half-time, but a great move saw Joe Barfoot accelerating onto a flat pass from Will Pettit to break the visitors’ defence for a 20-12 half time lead.
The second half scoring got underway with a penalty by Shane Vickers stretching the lead to 23-12, this was followed by some superb work by the forwards who were by now getting on top of their rivals,
Nat Humphreys emerged from a ruck to power forward and off load to John Turner who crossed the line, Vickers slotted the conversion for a 30-12 lead. Again West bounced back with a converted try (30-19), only for man of the match Chapman to burst forward again this time off loading to Claydon who scored, Vickers kicked the conversion (37-10), Barfoot finished things off with another try.
There were some excellent performances from several players and it was good to see Wisbech play some cohesive rugby. Returning to the first team, Luke Feaviour put in a workmanlike performance, Will Pettit orchestrated things at fly half and Matt Steed was solid in the loose.
New players, prop Dave Lamacroft and flanker Chris Dorling also made convincing debuts.
Wisbech will look to take this form into their next match at Ely on Saturday, whilst the seconds entertain Beccles 2nd XV at home, kick off 3pm.