Friends, families and spectators were unable to cheer their team onto victory on what was a poignant day for Wisbech Rugby Club.

Despite the first team losing 29-19 to Newmarket in a friendly on Saturday, the club remembered former members Tim Mason, Michael Chapman, Claude Martin and Martin ‘Noddy’ West who died over the last 18 months.

Before the match players from both teams and spectators observed a minute’s silence in remembrance of the club members.

A new-look Wisbech enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure, but it would be Newmarket who struck first on 10 minutes against a team that fielded four new players at Harecroft Road.

Poor defending from Wisbech allowed Newmarket to extend their lead to 12-0, before a quick move put them into a commanding position before half-time.

Wisbech Standard: Man of the match Adam Wood-McGrath on the charge for Wisbech.Man of the match Adam Wood-McGrath on the charge for Wisbech. (Image: Wisbech Rugby Club)

The hosts found a response, however, Josh Ferguson’s power breaking through the defence for Wisbech’s opening try.

Ferguson then added another try to his tally, but the visitors remained in control to extend their lead to 22-12.

The men in red again fought their way back into the contest and from a scrum, Wisbech replacement Ben Wicks scored to bring the hosts within three points of parity.

But Newmarket kept their advantage and confirmed the win when they scored another try and converted on 78 minutes.

Wisbech Standard: A large crowd gathered to watch Wisbech take on Newmarket in a friendly at Harecroft Road.A large crowd gathered to watch Wisbech take on Newmarket in a friendly at Harecroft Road. (Image: Wisbech Rugby Club)

Players to impress for Wisbech included 18-year-old Luke Hare on his debut, Sam Anderson, Ferguson and Jack Malkin at fly-half.

New signing Adam Wood-McGrath’s performance earned him the Round Table man of the match award.

Wisbech director of rugby Leonard Veenendaal said: “Losing Jack Malkin with a dislocated shoulder and Gerhard Wessels with a knee injury presents us with a problem we will have to overcome.

“We have all fingers crossed.

"But the bottom line is we made our own problems and that’s not good enough, but we have some positives to take from the result."

Wisbech Standard: Josh Ferguson (left) powers past an opponent for Wisbech.Josh Ferguson (left) powers past an opponent for Wisbech. (Image: Wisbech Rugby Club)

Wisbech Rugby Club also awarded some of their players after the game.

James Cox and Craig Reugg received rugby young ambassador awards for their work in coaching young players.

Club secretary Dave Dobson was handed an award from the Eastern Counties Rugby Union for his service to rugby

Wisbech face West Norfolk at home in their final pre-season friendly on September 11, 3pm, before the new London 3 Eastern Counties League season kicks off at Holt the following Saturday.

*Age grade rugby sessions have returned. New played aged six to 13-years-old are welcome for sessions starting at 10am on Sundays.

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