Ely 11 Wisbech 17
Wisbech kept themselves in the Eastern Counties Rugby League Division One title race with this win at leaders Ely on Saturday.
At the home fixture earlier in the season Ely had earned a controversial draw when the referee allowed a late Ely penalty kick to be retaken when their kicker claimed that a whistle in the crowd had put him off.
The game kicked off with a wind advantage to the visitors and Wisbech were forced to absorb early pressure – once again the defence was in top form.
A power forward drive saw Wisbech push the hosts back into their 22 metres and with intelligent ball recycling at the break down prop Kerrie McMullen went over the try line – and with Harry Newman adding the extra points Wisbech had taken control.
Shortly after excellent hands through the backs saw winger Lucas Conner cross the line in the corner.
One or two niggles started to creep into the game and Wisbech’s scrum half Jack Malkin was given a yellow card for retaliation.
With the extra man advantage Ely scored a try to make the half-time score 12-5 to the visitors.
Now with the wind at their backs it was clear the hosts would try to use long high kicks to their advantage, however Wisbech’s back line dealt superbly with the high ball.
Ely reduced the arrears with a penalty but in the last quarter of the game Wisbech’s strong driving maul once again produced the goods when second row James Griffin scored a try at a crucial time.
Once again the defence showed great discipline and, despite scoring a later penalty, Ely were forced to accept a losing bonus point.
The team would like to thank all the Wisbech supporters who travelled.
“In all my years working with the senior squad at Wisbech this was one of the best away performances I have had the pleasure to watch,” said manager Cliff Humphreys.
“Leonard Veenendaal (coach) is certainly a master tactician. A lot of credit must go to him for the way he set the squad up. Once again it was an 18-man team performance, but captain Solomon Prestidge and centre Dan Roberts were awarded joint men of the match.
“We remain in third spot and it looks like the title will be between Wymondham, Ely and Wisbech so we will need to stay focused.”
Wisbech first team do not have a fixture this weekend. The Wildcats, whose game at the weekend was called off by the visitors, are at home.