Wisbech suffered a bruising first defeat of 2022 at the hands of one of the league’s high-flyers.

The Men in Red scored three tries and led at half-time before going down 50-21 at Thurston in the London 3 Eastern Counties League on Saturday.

After the hosts took a 5-0 lead, Wisbech took advantage through Shane Vickers and enjoyed sustained pressure in the opposition half.

Solomon Prestidge then struck, before a mistake from a scrum saw Thurston pounce to convert the loose ball.

Wisbech Round Table man of the match Raimondas Vinksna then powered home to score, but his team’s half-time lead was cut to 21-19 following a break-away try.

Early triumph proved little for the away side as Thurston scored four unanswered tries to seal the points.

Leonard Veenendaal, Wisbech’s director of rugby, said: "Covid dealt us a hard blow this week, but we make no excuses.

“The boys that stepped up at late notice did well.”

Wisbech host Thetford at Harecroft Road on February 12.

*A depleted Wisbech Wildcats were beaten by a classy St Neots 2nds in Eastern Counties Division Two West on Saturday.

George Overland and Rory Willis both shone for Wildcats in the 43-0 reverse, as they host Saffron Walden 2nds on February 12.