Wisbech 1st XV 50pts,
Mersea Island 14
WISBECH produced a solid display as they ran in eight tries for a very comfortable win.
The pack laid the foundation as they outmuscled the heavier Mersea Island forwards. However it took about 20 minutes before Wisbech scored when James Napier opened his account with the first of a hat-trick. Shane Vickers took on the kicking duties and slotted over the conversion.
Vickers himself scored the next try as he outsprinted the visitors’ defence. Joe Barfoot got onto the score sheet again taking the ball in his stride and at pace. Wisbech were cruising at 19-0.
However to their credit Mersea Island fought back and scored a try when their large prop forward barged his way over the line to score a try. Wisbech notched up a bonus point when Barfoot scored his second try. The disappointment of the half as far as Wisbech were concerned was that back row Tom Martell had to leave the pitch with a twisted ankle.
It was much the same in the second half. Will Pettit made way for Jon Turner and Greg Brownlow came on for Richard Cavill. Wisbech’s pack continued to deal well with the heavier opposition and there were solid all round performances from all the forwards, the line out went particularly well as this aspect of the game has been a problem for Wisbech throughout the season.
Barfoot continued to show great pace on the ball and scored his third try. Winger James Napier enjoyed a lot of space to score his second and with Vickers popping up again the backs were certainly enjoying themselves. Mersea Island scored a consolation converted try before Greg Brownlow powered his way through the defensive lines to link up with Napier who ran in to score his third try of the day under the posts.
Manager Cliff Humphreys said: “Our forwards were fitter and faster than the opposition and this gave our backs the space to show their class.
“We are at Crusaders on Saturday and we will need to make some changes due to injury and unavailability. Our final league match of the season is against Cantabs at home on March 31. Cantabs remain unbeaten so far this season in the league and are four points clear of us with a game in hand.”
Cantabs 2nd XV 3pts,
Wisbech 2nd XV 8pts
Wisbech are through to the semi-finals of the Cambridgeshire County Cup after this very competitive game.
Proceedings started with Cantabs having all the possession. However, stout tackling from Matt Mitchell and Reece Murdoch along with the entire team kept wave after wave of the Cantabs attacks back.
As soon as Wisbech turned the ball over they trundled the ball up the middle of the park, being awarded a penalty in the middle of the pitch. A long-range kick for the posts from the mercurial Sam Anderson sailed through the middle giving Wisbech a 3-0 lead. Again, Wisbech had to turn to hard-hitting tackles to keep Cantabs at bay.
Nick Thompsett (mom) collected a high ball and ran straight back at the Cantabs defence, great inter-play and off-loading from Wisbech saw the final pass collected by Brian Alabaster who had to use his pace and strength to power over in the corner.
In the second half scrum-half Jack Malkin took the game by the scruff of the neck. His clever kicking kept Cantabs out of Wisbech territory. Cantabs did kick a penalty but Wisbech held their nerve to hold out for the important victory.
Wisbech will face Cambridge Exiles away in the last four.