Swaffham 16-10 Wisbech: Wisbech miss out on the play-offs after frustrating final day display

Sam Anderson takes a lineout in Wisbech's disappointing final day defeat to Swaffham.

Sam Anderson takes a lineout in Wisbech's disappointing final day defeat to Swaffham. - Credit: Archant

Wisbech coach Leonard Veenendaal admitted his disappointment after his sides fluffed their lines in their final game of the season.

Jack Malkin gets the ball away.

Jack Malkin gets the ball away. - Credit: Archant

Veenendaal’s men needed a bonus point victory over Swaffham to secure a place in the Eastern Counties Division One play-off final, but fell at the final hurdle to the Norfolk side, succumbing to a 16-10 defeat.

Hosts Swaffham started strongly, and took a 3-0 lead through one of three penalties. Their swift start was soon forgotten about as Wisbech took the lead after a bulldozing run from Ben Chapman brought the first try of the encounter.

Wisbech then extended their lead after some excellent work from skipper Solomon Prestidge, who set up a driving maul for Sam Anderson to dot down.

Swaffham kicked another penalty to reduce the arrears early in the second half, and with their lead threatened, Wisbech began to lose their discipline, with an unsavoury scuffle leading to Lewis Haddon being sent to the sin bin.

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The home side then converted a third penalty to reduce Wisbech’s lead to just one point, before Wisbech’s capitulation was completed by Swaffham’s first converted try of the match.

Veenendaal’s men pushed forward in the dying embers of the game, but his side’s promotion dream was brought to an abrupt end, much to the disappointment of the Wisbech boss.

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Veenendaal said: “I warned all week about the threat that Swaffham posed and called on the boys to focus on and get intensity back in our build-up.

“I always say to the lads I can accept losing but I cannot accept underperforming. To end the season in this manner is disappointing, but I guess that is sport”

“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. Hopefully this lesson will stand the squad in good stead for next season to the top two sides.”

Wisbech will be holding their annual junior , senior and club awards evening Friday 29 April, followed by the Rugby Club Ball on the Friday May 6. For more information, visit www.pitchero.com/clubs/wisbechrufc.

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