Wisbech 25pts, Billericay 17pts
Wisbech won though to the next round of the Junior Vase on Saturday against Essex Division 1 outfit Billericay, but not before some very anxious moments towards the end.
It was not a vintage performance as a total lack of concentration in the final 20 minutes allowed the visitors back into the game after Wisbech were cruising at 25-0.
It was a blustery day with Wisbech kicking off with the strong wind behind them - once again they scored a well worked try in the opening five minutes when centre Phil Martell hit the line with pace to crash over and Mark Laws added the extra points.
Billericay are a typical Essex side and with their heavy forwards played a tight physical game. Wisbech’s forwards found it difficult as the visitors used the strong arm tactics and were forced to replace second row Richard Pearson who pick up a leg injury with Greg Brownlow.
Midway through the half Billericay’s number eight was sin binned for the over use of his boot on a Wisbech player on the ground. This gave Wisbech an edge, but they were unable to break through the visitors defence and must give thanks to Laws, who slotted over two penalties before half-time to edge Wisbech into a 13-0 lead.
Shortly after the restart Wisbech brought on Joe Barfoot to replace Laws and immediately he added pace to the game.
Wisbech, now facing the wind, attacked Billericay and the forwards won quick second phase ball and scrum half Andy Claydon scored under the posts which he in turn converted.
During that move Wisbech lost flanker Dave Wadsley with a dead leg, but shortly after Shane Vickers found himself in space and outsprinted the Essex side’s defence. with another Billericay player binned for foul play.
With 20 minutes to go Wisbech conceded a soft try as their defence went to sleep to allow the visitors centre to score and put them back into the game. This seem to push a panic button for Wisbech and instead of controlling the game with tactical kicking to clear their defence they tried to run the ball,
Billericay scored two intercepted tries in quick succession, realising their dream of a visit to Twickenham was in danger Wisbech rallied in the last five minutes despite one or two physical moments.
Manager Cliff Humphreys said: “We played well against physical side to gain a 25-point lead but then had to suffer some nervous moments towards the end as we let Billericay back into the game.
“Our dream of the league and vase double is still flickering, however Wisbech must realise that other teams will not lay down and simply let us win.
“We need to get our structure and discipline back to the levels shown earlier in the season if we are to achieve our goals.”
Wisbech are at home to Woodbridge in the league on Saturday kick off 2.15pm.