Video & Gallery: Wisbech lose cup final from last minute try

PUBLISHED: 14:59 05 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:02 02 June 2010


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By ADAM LAZZARI CAMBRIDGESHIRE INTERMEDIATE COUNTY CUP FINAL Wisbech 20 Shelford Development Squad 25 WISBECH finished a superb season narrowly losing a phenomenal cup final to a controversial last-minute try. Shelford were awarded a scrum five metres fr

Napier touches down. 0139BP59

By ADAM LAZZARI

CAMBRIDGESHIRE INTERMEDIATE COUNTY CUP FINAL

Wisbech 20 Shelford Development Squad 25

WISBECH finished a superb season narrowly losing a phenomenal cup final to a controversial last-minute try.

Shelford were awarded a scrum five metres from the Wisbech line after Tom Long was adjudged to have taken the ball over his own try line before touching it down.

The home players and fans protested, believing the ball to have already crossed the line when full-back touched down but Shelford worked the ball to the left wing to grab the winning try.

Wisbech refused to die and in the closing seconds Jack Hoyles burst through the centre to set up winger James Napier who was denied by a last-ditch tackle.

Many expected Wisbech to spend the majority of the match on the back foot against a side who had recently won the Eastern Counties 2nd XV cup and have a first team topping the London Division One.

But the Fenland club produced a performance that will be remembered for years to come.

They dominated the second half and were desperately unlucky to not come away with victory.

Wisbech head coach Steve Drawbridge said: "I couldn't be more proud. In my eyes it feels like a victory because of the way we played. We had several key players missing and had seven second team players in the squad and they've all done themselves proud."

Shelford head coach John Rees, who said: "It was an excellent game and Wisbech proved a very tough test. I'm sure they will do well in the London League next season."

Shelford scored a try in the first two minutes.

Wisbech produced with some magnificent defending, exemplified by the outstanding Stafford Proctor.

A penalty put the visitors 8-0 up on 12 minutes.

Wisbech responded with some fine moves involving Will Pettit, Jack Hoyles, James Griffin and Andy McCubbin.

Their reward was a scrum close to the Shelford line from which Andy Claydon worked the blind side and put James Napier into space for a superb try to make it 8-5 with 15 minutes of the half remaining.

Shelford scored an unconverted try but Claydon kicked a penalty to make it 15-8 at the interval.

A magnificent mazy run and try from Jack Hoyles made it 15-13 early in the second half.

After some quality rucking Will Pettit made a sublime diagonal run to put Proctor in for a try and Claydon converted to give Wisbech a 20-15 lead.

Shelford equalised with a try from a well-worked line-out and it was 20-20 with 10 minutes remaining.

Wisbech won a series of rucks and scrums close to the Shelford line and were constantly denied by some excellent last-ditch defending.

Wisbech appeared to have touched down from a five-metre scrum but a try was not given and Shelford took the opportunity to punt the ball down the field and grab their winning try.

Andy Claydon sets up James Napier to score Wisbech's first try. 0137BP59

Napier touches down. 0139BP59

The outstanding Stafford Proctor makes a forward charge. 0154BP59

Wisbech produce some superb defending in the first half. 9103BP49

Pictures: BRIAN PURDY

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