Wisbech 17pts, Sudbury 7pts
Wisbech are through to the third round of the Senior Vase after a hard fought encounter against London NE 3 side Sudbury.
They had worked hard under the guidance of Phil Webb at training on Wednesday night to increase the intensity of play at the break down. To their credit the home team showed improvement in this aspect of the game.
The forwards controlled the set piece for most of the match which laid the foundation for Wisbech to play some attacking rugby but an unfortunate combination of over eagerness, penalties at the break down and some solid defensive work by the visitors prevented Wisbech from scoring any first half tries.
The deadlock was broken midway through the first half when Mark Laws slotted over a penalty after a Sudbury player had been adjudged offside for which he received a yellow card.
The referee continuously warned both sides about persistent infringements and on the half hour he lost patience with Wisbech and carded prop Ali Comben.
Wisbech were forced to reshuffle and brought on veteran prop Pete Lankfar into the front row as a rolling substitute for Nathan Goodale.
After the break Wisbech were forced to defend as Sudbury mounted early pressure as their backs showed some pace. Wisbech had replaced Shane Vickers and Sam Anderson with Joe Barfoot and James Napier. The home side rallied and pushed Sudbury back into their half.
Fly half Will Pettit found himself in space to score under the posts and Laws added the conversion.
Wisbech now finally relaxed and put together several good passages of play. Centre Jonathon Turner burst through to score a converted try.
Sudbury did score when their speedy winger outpaced the home defence after a kick ahead.
The try was converted making the score 17-7. In the final quarter Wisbech should have increased their advantage, but a number of scoring opportunities went begging.
Manager Cliff Humphreys said: “We always looked to be in control of the game and should have scored more tries. I thought the pack as a unit played very well and dominated the game.
“Flanker Nathan Goodale, a 17-year-old, impressed and is certainly one for the future.
“We travel to Sudbury on Saturday in the league. It will be a difficult encounter as Sudbury only travelled with 16 players and showed that they have pace in the backs. We must improve our discipline as we cannot keep giving away penalties and yellow cards.”