Wisbech 1st XV lose at London 3 Eastern Counties promotion chasers Ely in rugby derby
Wisbech 1st XV suffered one of their most disappointing defeats of the season at the hands of London 3 Eastern Counties rivals and promotion-chasing Ely on Saturday afternoon.
Lack of confidence and clinical finishing in the final third put paid to Wisbech’s attempt to gain their first away victory of the season in this derby.
Just like their previous away trip to Woodbridge, Wisbech had the lion’s share of the possession from the start and some organised phases lead to good field position, but a robust aggressive Ely defence kept Wisbech at bay.
Losing prop William Lankfer to injury very early in the match did not help matters.
The home side seized their opportunity after the forced substitution, scoring a converted try off the back of a spell of pressure in the Wisbech 22 to take a 0-7 lead.
The 'Men in Red' needed to see some ball and once they did, they made it count, after sustained pressure the ball was moved wide, full back Dan Di Meo scoring his sixth try of the season in the corner.
Wisbech finished the half strongly but failed to take their chances in good positions with several errors costing them, an interception pass led to a converted try, as the away side went into the break 14-5 down.
Unfortunately Wisbech lost another player when Dan Di Meo who was a constant threat with ball in hand had to leave the field half way through the second half.
But that was the calm before the Ely storm. The home side then had ten minutes of magic, scoring two breakaway tries after some strong trademark Ely carries.
Wisbech were dealt a further blow when they lost scrum half Zach Lakey in the final minutes to injury.
Ely’s strength and depth from the bench proved the difference with Ely adding both youth and experience throughout the second half.
Brad Williams was tireless all day and his work rate which made the awarding of the Wisbech Round Table man of match award easy.
Other notable performances from the departing Henry Lankfer and the returning Pat Grote, Skippy Parsons and Josh Seale.
The final score28-8 left the visitors again on the back end of another away loss wondering 'what if'. Wisbech are now well and truly entering into a relegation scrap with the sides around them winning at the weekend.
Wisbech Wildcats will be at home on Saturday against Shelford 5ths in the quarter-final of the County Cup while the 1st XV are next in action on December 14, away to local rivals West Norfolk.
Wisbech 1st starting XV: 15 Dan Di Meo, 14 James Patrick, 13 Shane Vickers, 12 Josh Seale, 11 Ben Goude, 10 Sam Anderson, 9 Zac Lakey, 8 Pat Grote, 7 Bradley Williams, 6 Solomon Prestidge, 5 Skippy Parsons, 4Henry Lankfer, 3 Kerrie McMullen, 2 David Wadsley (c) William Lankfer. Substitutes: 16 Mark Goude, 17 Nattachit Hunt, 18 Rory Willis.
More by this authorPete Woodhouse