HE’S BACK: Hoyles makes ‘perfect’ Wisbech return... a year after points deduction mistake
FIRED-UP centre Ben Hoyles made the perfect return to Harecroft Road on Saturday - a year after his illegal appearance condemned Wisbech Rugby Club to relegation.
Wisbech were deducted 13 points for fielding an ineligible player when the unregistered Hoyles helped them beat bitter rivals Newmarket last December.
The penalty plunged them into a battle for London North-East Division Three survival, which they lost by a single point on the final day of the season.
But newly-signed Hoyles made a triumphant return on Saturday – scoring twice to help Wisbech hammer Crusaders 79-10 and cruise to the top of Greene King Eastern Counties Division One.
Hoyles, who represented his county and country as a junior, said: “It was nice to be back on the pitch with the lads again. Hopefully we can get back into the league where we belong and put a few wrongs right.
“It was a horrible situation with the 13 points. I did feel really bad and to see it splashed all over the papers wasn’t nice.
“But I’m delighted to be playing again - and this time I’m registered.”
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Hoyles, who returned to Wisbech after a spell at Spalding, came off the bench to score his two second-half tries.
Phil Martell and James Napier grabbed two tries each, while skipper Shane Vickers, Greg Brownlow, Will Pettit, Tom Martell, Jon Turner and Andy Claydon also crashed over. Full back Mark Laws kicked seven conversions and sealed the rout with the final try of the day.
Vickers said: “When we brought Ben on it looked like he had never been away. He looked hungry for it, putting in big hits all over the pitch.
“It was the perfect start back in a Wisbech shirt.”
Wisbech, who have lost one game all season, boast a 100 per cent record in the league and are through to the Junior Vase Fourth Round where they will host Billericay.
The promotion-chasers travel to unbeaten title rivals Cantabrigians tomorrow.
Vickers added: “To beat Cantabs in their own back yard would be something special.”