Four-try Wisbech boost survival hopes

Wisbech Rugby 1st v Harlow ANL-140324-091200002
Wisbech Rugby 1st v Harlow ANL-140324-091200002
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Wisbech 27pts, Harlow 21

Wisbech scored four tries and a valuable bonus point in a spirited performance as they battle for survival in London North East 3 on Saturday.

Wisbech are on 44 points sandwiched between Old Brentwood (41 points in the drop zone but who have two games in hand) and Wanstead (44 and a game in hand).

Manager Cliff Humphreys said: “The lacklustre home losses against Brentwood and Wanstead and the draw at Canvey Island have cost us dear. We have a very difficult away game against Sudbury in two weeks time before the final league match at home to Beccles on April 12 which could turn out to be the relegation decider.”

Wisbech proved that they are a formidable squad when they stick to the game plan set by Leonard Veenendaal. Ben Wicks was drafted into inside centre and gave a very solid performance.

On five minutes centre James Napier scored an excellent try which fly half Malkin converted. Shortly after winger Joe Barfoot went over after excellent work by the team. After a number of technical penalties gave possession away, Harlow scored a try and a penalty by half-time to reduce the arrears to 12-8.

In the early stages of the second half Harlow converted two penalties to take the lead. Wisbech brought on Nathan Goodale and Kerrie McMullen to freshen up the pack. Malkin kicked a penalty to nudge Wisbech back in front.

The try of the day was scored when winger James Patrick stormed through the defence at pace. Malkin added the extra points. Goodale drove to the line, held the ball up and popped it to full back Steve Priest to score. Greg Brownlow produced a solid physical performance.

Coach Veenedaal praised all 18 players, singling out Patrick as Man of the Match as he was unlucky not to have scored a hat-trick.

On Saturday Wisbech play Newmarket at home, kick-off 3pm, in the Cambs Cup semi-final.

n On Sunday Wisbech Under 8s took on the challenge of the Cambridgeshire County Mini Cup at Cambridge Rugby Club.

They scored a massive 16 tries in three mini games and worked brilliantly together as a team - just missing out on a place in the semi-finals.

After a difficult game with a heavy defeat against a stronger Kettering side, this week the Fenland Barbarians (u13s Wisbech and Spalding) bounced back in style at Ely with an emphatic 71-0 win, running in 13 tries.

Tries: Harry Smith 2, Aaron Brundle 2, Archie Lyall 2, Elliott Scott 2, David Betts 2; one each for Ollie Simpson, Henry Hoyles and Luke Green. Three conversions by Alex Baker.

Head coach Alex Wilcox said: “I am very proud of the boys. Probably our best overall performance of the year.”