Wisbech show top fitness to take points

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Mersea Island 19pts, Wisbech 23pts

Wisbech produced a very good second half display to win this game after trailing 19-0 at the break.

They again had to make changes for this long trip to Mersea Island as they were forced to leave early as the only road onto the island floods at high tide at around 1pm.

It was a game of two halves as a strong blustery wind blew from right to left down the pitch. At the toss Wisbech elected to defend the wind in the first half.

Mersea Island have a strong pack and in the early exchanges the home team pegged Wisbech back, stout defending failed to keep Mersea Island at bay as the home side raced into a 19-0 lead at the break. Wisbech lost prop Andy Heighton in the first half and was replaced by Josh Anderson who played well against the heavy pack.

This was the first time this season in the league that Wisbech had found themselves trailing at half-time and in order to preserve their unbeaten league record they needed to dig deep.

And so they did as virtually from the restart Mark Laws slotted over a penalty kick. Wisbech started to work the ball and once again a fine backs move saw Joe Barfoot scored a try which Laws converted. With 10 minutes to go James Napier went on another of his elusive runs to outfox the home team with a solo try, Laws added the conversion.

With the scoreline now at 19-17, Wisbech were awarded a penalty and a very cool Laws let fly with a successful kick to edge Wisbech in front. He rounded off an excellent personal display on the day with a penalty kick on full time taken from the halfway line and using the wind to its full advantage the kick sailed over to seal a great fightback.

Manager Cliff Humphreys said: “This was always going to be a difficult away game but again all credit must go to the lads who agreed to travel.

“Wisbech showed their superior fitness at this level to run out worthy winners.

“We are at home on Saturday in the second round of the Junior Vase against Old Brentwoods (2.30).

“It would be great to rekindle the atmosphere seen at Wisbech in previous cup runs with a big crowd.”