Crusaders 18, Wisbech 24
Wisbech won their first away game of the season in controversial circumstances.
With 10 minutes to go and with failing light the referee called the two captains together as he was concerned with player safety and wanted to abandon the game.
Crusaders were leading 18-17 at the time and their captain agreed, however Wisbech skipper Solomon Prestidge stood his ground asking for more time. The referee agreed to a further five minutes.
After the restart Wisbech won the ball a burst upfield by De La Rey Veenendaal put Wisbech on the front foot and after a number of offloads the ball was finally fed along the backs. Sam Anderson was on hand to round off an excellent team move with the winning try. Immediately after Jack Malkin slotted over the conversion the referee blew for time, much to the annoyance of the home team.
“It was very dark,” stated club manager Cliff Humphreys. “You couldn’t see across the field.”
Crusaders had took an early lead with a converted try however the vistors who had improved their physicality at breakdown controlled the pace of the game. Tries by Prestidge and James Napier and a Malkin conversion gave the local outfit a narrow 12-10 half time lead.
Wisbech came under early pressure in the second half attributed to a number of technical infringements. Crusaders capitalised and scored a try and shortly after a converted penalty to edge into the lead. Wisbech discipline improved and with a number of powerful drives up field pinned the home team down in their 22 metre, excellent power play by the forwards paid dividends when Nathan Goodale scored a try from close range.
Midway through the second half a number of stoppages for injuries delayed the game and with the light deteriorating the referee made his call.
Prestidge gave a captains’ performance and Veenendaal showed his class in the backs but it was an excellent team performance each and every squad member played his part. The only down side was that hooker Kerrie McMullen suffered a nasty cut to his forehead for which he was taken to hospital for stitches.
Coach Leonard Veenendaal was naturally very pleased with the result: “We now need to build on the improvement we have shown over the past two weeks and put in a performance against Newmarket in our next league game at home on December 6.”
Wisbech Wildcats 8 Beccles II 26
After a hard fought match away the Wildcats returned to Harecroft Road to play a side unbeaten this year.
In the first 10 minutes the Wildcats defence was unable to gel and Beccles ran in two quick tries. Wisbech were 12-0 down.
After finally getting their hands on the ball, Richard Cavill and Mark Sands carrying hard, they were able to force a penalty, Nick Thompsett slotting the points. Beccles showed why they were unbeaten by scoring a well worked try in the corner.
At half-time captain Iwan Jones had some strong words that inspired the Wildcats to come out stronger. David Brodie was able to snipe a try to bring the score to 19-8. Wisbech felt they were on the ascendency looking for a way back into the game when Beccles broke for a try.
Having gone up a league from last year the Wildcats are developing into a side to challenge the top of the league sides. With a number of new players the team is looking to climb up the table.
The Wildcats travel to March on Saturday for the first leg of the Jack Arch cup. Kick-off 2pm.