Greene King IPA
Eastern Counties 1
Wisbech 19, Southwold 35
This was always going to be a tough game against the leaders for Wisbech as a number of key squad players were not available for selection.
Coach Leonard Veneendaal was forced to reconfigure the back row, bringing in youngster Olive Lake and Nat Hunt.
It was clear from the first scrum that Wisbech’s pack were under pressure as they were pushed off their own ball.
The visitors opened the scoring midway through the first half with two quick converted tries but to their credit Wisbech continued to work hard and were rewarded shortly before half-time when prop Kerrie Mcmullen went over under the posts. Jack Malkin added the conversion.
Wisbech were caught cold and flat footed at the start of the second half as the visitors increased their physical presence to score a further two converted tries. Wisbech dug in, but lost flyhalf Steve Priest with a nasty gash as the result of a physical tackle.
Southwold scored their fifth try before Wisbech rallied with tries by centre James Napier, who outpaced the defence, and Nathaniel Humphreys from a catch and drive at a lineout.
Wisbech continued to press forward but a number of efforts were thwarted.
Wisbech are away to Thurston next weekend in a must-win game. On January 24 Wisbech have been drawn away to Cheshunt in the 4th round of the Junior Vase.
l Wisbech welcomed Spalding and Bury St Edmunds in the club’s biggest junior home fixture held so far and which was very well supported.
The U7’s minis remain unbeaten this season, drawing one and winning two matches against a strong defensive Spalding team and one draw and four wins against an equally strong squad from Bury St Edmunds.
Each team member gave an excellent performance. Coaches gave mention to Jemima Mitchell for her impressive defensive work, Thomas Wicks for top try scorer for Wisbech Reds, Toby Smith and Archie Grange-Hall for strong support and George Davison for his overall top try score tally of 15.
The U8s won three of the four games played.
The U12s drew against Bury 10-10 with scores from Simpson and Holmes and drew against Spalding 5-5, Melton scoring.
Wisbech U11s drew against Bury in two matches which both finished 15-15 (George Kerr, Oliver Murdoch, Lewis Shipley and Shipley, Raven Power) but beat Spalding 20-15 (Kerr, Shipley, Ashton Webb, Samuel Dickerson).
The U9s beat Bury A 5-2, drew 4-4 with Bury B but lost to Spalding 1-4.