Wisbech bounce back to lead table

Harwich 17pts,

Wisbech 18pts

Wisbech bounced back to the top of the table following their cup exit after being 14 points down within the first eight minutes of the away league match on Saturday.

However a stern team talk by skipper Tom Long had the desired effect as Wisbech rallied. There were some changes in the forwards from the previous week’s Vase defeat at London Exiles – Graham Saunders was back at No 8 and prop Andy Heighton returned after injury put him out of action for a couple of months.

Richard Cavill was drafted into the second row and added some extra power and with Greg Brownlow moving to wing forward the pack looked well balanced. The pack dominated the heavier home pack and with ball in hand Wisbech started to control the game.

Saunders scored a try on 15 minutes when the ball was taken against the head at the scrum, shortly after man of the match Ben Chapman powered his way through the home defence to score a try and with the conversion by Andy Claydon Wisbech were back in the game at 14-12. A penalty before half-time gave the home team a 17-12 advantage.

In the second half Wisbech had the benefit of a strong wind and a slope and with the forwards now in complete control, the ball was worked down the back line but excellent defensive work by the home team thwarted Wisbech.

However, Claydon’s trusted boot slotted over two penalties in quick succession to edge Wisbech into the lead. Wisbech pressed forward in search of a much needed bonus point but failed to turn the pressure into points. Young prop Kerrie McMullen replaced James Griffin with 10 minutes to go.

“It was a great all round team performance and to come back from such a disastrous start showed the character in the side,” said manager Cliff Humphreys. “We have gone top as Cantabs were in Vase action this weekend.”

Training is tomorrow (Thursday) before Saturday’s trip to Ipswich.